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Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson is a retired computer engineer. He worked in Saudi Arabia for five years, two years at the Ghazlan Power Plant near Ras Tanura…

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This U.S. Shale Play Has Flattened Out Substantially

The North Dakota Industrial Commission is out with the April production Data for the Bakken and all North Dakota.


(Click to enlarge)

Eight month of flat to down production from the Bakken.

(Click to enlarge)

I have shortened the data to 16 months here to give a better picture of what is really happening. North Dakota reached an 8 month low. North Dakota, in April, was 17,631 barrels per day below their September 2014 production. The Bakken was only 11,024 below September 2014, so conventional wells seem to be dropping off pretty fast. Related: Is Elon Musk Just A Billionaire Welfare King?

The Bakken is 54,599 bpd below their peak in December and all North Dakota is 59,385 bpd below their December Peak.

As usual, there were very few adjustments in the previous month’s data. Bakken March production was adjusted down by 114 barrels per day while North Dakota production was adjusted down by 81 barrels per day.

(Click to enlarge)

Bakken BPD per well has been dropping for four months now. Bakken bpd per well now stands at 116, down 4 from March. All North Dakota bpd per well is now 96, down 3 while conventional wells bpd per well is 23, down 1 from March.

(Click to enlarge)

Bakken wells producing increased by 107 while North Dakota wells producing increased by 101. Related: New Silk Road Could Open Up Massive Investment Opportunities

The North Dakota rig count now stands at 75, down 7 since Wednesday.

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The EIA’s weekly C+C production has been increasing. It is way up in May and June but since the North Dakota production only goes through April, I have limited the above chart to a monthly average of weekly production through April. From December to April, the monthly average of the EIA’s weekly production was up 256,000 bpd while North Dakota production was down 59,000 bpd. That means that from December to April, US production, less North Dakota, had to be up 315,000 bpd.

And need I remind you of what has happened to US production since April. The EIA weekly crew has US production up another 237,000 bpd to 9,610,000 barrels per day.

(Click to enlarge)

Enno Peters posted the above charts.

Also from Enno’s data, I counted 153 new wells that went on line in April, or 5.1 wells per day. That compares to 188 that went on line in March or 6.06 per day. Those 188 new wells brought production up 12,371 bpd while those 153 wells saw a decline of 21,866 bpd. So, according to my calculations, it would have taken about 175 new wells to have kept production flat. That’s a few more than I would have thought. Related: A Glut For Natural Gas Too?

(Click to enlarge) 

And Verwimp sends his Bakken prediction above.

By Ron Patterson

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  • Len B on June 15 2015 said:
    Go get em Ron! EIA rigged data exposed by the day! How the heck does rest of country see 300,000 BPD increase i ask you all given Bakken data points! Its lunacy.....
  • Brian B. on June 15 2015 said:
    Great article Ron. Again, your analysis lays bare the fact that we should not put much faith in the weekly EIA numbers. In fact, I think the EIA should just stop reporting their weekly numbers entirely. Why base an investing decision on numbers that we know are incorrect? At any rate, this is really good information to have, and it makes me wonder what the April production numbers for Texas will be? I am guessing the April production numbers for Texas will be down as well. We should find out within the next week or so.

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