North Dakota - update through June 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 12556 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production since 2005, through June 2017.

Oil production in North Dakota made another drop in June of close to 1%, to 1.03 million bo/d, even though, similar as in May, a large number of new wells started production (93). As the graph above shows, more than half of the production in June came from wells that started since early 2015.

In the “Well quality” tab, the production profiles of all these wells can be seen. Although long-term production rates have not changed much in recent years, well design changes have lead to far larger initial production rates. The average well recovers now more than 150 thousand barrels of oil in the first 1.5 years, 50k more than just a few years earlier. Part of this increase is also due to operators focusing on the better areas, as fewer wells are drilled.

In that overview, if you use the “Well name” selection on the right side, and (after deselecting “All”), search for the well with API “3302500736” (using the search bar), and select only this well, you will see a striking picture. Starting in 2008, this well almost doubled its cumulative production in June, in just a single month, to close to 250 kbo. It achieved an average daily production rate of over 3000 bo/d, the highest monthly rate of any well in the history of North Dakota. It was refracked in the end of 2016, and just put back on production.

The last tab (“Top operators”) shows that Continental Resources advanced its lead over Whiting further in June, as it operated more than 110 kbo/d of production, which is still well below its peak of 140 kbo/d.


The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how all these horizontal wells are heading towards their ultimate oil or gas recovery.

The effects of higher initial production rates, and of the well that was just refracked, can be both nicely seen here.

Unfortunately I did not have much time to make the improvements to these presentations that I mentioned during last post. I’m currently working on improving the Texas data, which I will show in the next update on Texas.

I expect to have a new post around the middle of next week.

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 30 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.


  • jim brooker says:

    The behavior of CLRs 2015 wells will be interesting to watch.


  • nuassembly says:

    Hi, Jim
    It’s interesting you are looking at CLR like I am looking at PXD.
    Their wells are actually quite close in terms of performances.
    1. Not bad compared to other shalers
    2. So similar in EUR right now for their 2015 and 2016 wells, and it will be interesting to see their performances from here. Whether CLR will have the nose dive accelerated or PXD will repeat previous nose dives.

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