North Dakota – update through October 2019

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 15,394 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through October.

North Dakota produced almost 1.5 million bo/d in October (horizontal wells only), a m-o-m increase of 5%. Bad weather in the previous month clearly had an impact on operations. It is one of the few states that almost has not seen a drop in rig activity since the start of the year (from 52 to 50 last week). Gas output was a record as well, at 3 Bcf/d (Toggle product to “Gas”).

Initial well productivity is basically unchanged from last year, as you can see in the “Well quality” tab. New wells are on a path to recover about 250 thousand barrels of oil after 2 years on production, on average.

The two largest producers in the state, Continental Resources and Hess, were at record output in October (“Top operators”).

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:

This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how all these horizontal wells are heading towards their ultimate recovery, with wells grouped by the year in which production started.

The impact of refrac’ing of older wells is visible in the graph above (especially in the 2008 vintage). Filtering on refracs is a subscription only feature.

The gas-oil ratio is rising quicker in more recent wells, as is revealed in the 9th tab (“Gas oil ratio”) of this interactive presentation.

The following screenshot, taken from our ShaleProfile Analytics service (Professional), shows the decline behavior of older wells in this basin, which began production between 2007 and 2014. Wells that were refrac’ed have been removed. The charts on the right side show the average production rate and annual decline rates, by years on production.


Terminal decline rates in North Dakota. Horizontal wells from 2007-2014 only.

Here you can find that annual decline rates in this basin seem to settle at around 10%, after 7 years on production.

Early next week, we will have a post on gas production in Pennsylvania.

For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • DMR of North Dakota. These presentations only show the production from horizontal wells; a small amount (about 40 kbo/d) is produced from conventional vertical wells.



The above presentations have many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  • Sjoerd says:

    Hi Enno,

    There only appear to be about 110 wells in the Van Hook field on the NDIC map, yet Shaleprofile has 188 at the moment. Do you know why there is a difference?



    1. Sjoerd says:

      Oh right, NDIC appears to classify 75 Slawson and 13 EOG wells as Van Hook even though they are in Big Bend…

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