North Dakota - update until 2016-04

Total oil production in North Dakota fell to 1041 kbo/d in March, a monthly drop of 70 kbo/d(!!). This was the largest month-on-month decline in the history of North Dakota. In the previous two updates, I noted that I expected declines of more than 20 kbo/d, which did not materialize at the time. With the decline in April, North Dakota production is now in the lower range of what I thought possible a couple of months ago.

Some findings from looking at the data more closely:

  • Only 44 wells started in April, compared with 63 in March (62 and 70 in Feb & Jan resp.)
  • The declines where higher across the board for wells that started within the last year (new wells in April had an average performance).
  • There appears to be a focus on completing wells that were recently drilled, instead of older DUCs: In Jan 2015 83% (1000 out of 1200) of spudded, but not producing wells, were spudded less than 6 months earlier. In April 2016, 35% (349 out of 993) of spudded, but not producing wells, were spudded less than 6 months earlier. This suggests that at least a good percentage of these older DUCs appear to have some issues. (Another factor has been that some companies have delayed further completions.)
  • This may also be a partial explanation of why the DUC count has stayed on quite an elevated level. In April, my count of spudded, but not producing horizontal wells, went up from 978 to 993 (due to a larger than expected 59 new wells spudded, although this appears to be a monthly aberration).

At the end of next week (around June 24), I plan to post another update on the Eagle Ford.



The above presentation has 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, and include or exclude categories.
  • 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.