North Dakota - update through July 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 12657 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production since 2005, through July 2017.

Oil production in North Dakota rose about 1.4% in July to 1.05 million bo/d, with 98 new wells producing (94 in June). Gas production made a new all-time high at close to 1.9 Bcf/day. The large number of new producers in July, but also in the 2 months before, were the main reason for the higher production. Drilling and completion has been rather in balance since the start of the year, resulting in almost no change in uncompleted wells.

Proppant usage has also increased in the Bakken in recent years, and the average completion in 2017 so far utilized just over 8 million pounds. At 850 pounds per lateral feet, this number is still quite a bit lower than in other basins (e.g. in Texas this is about double)

In the “Well quality” tab, the production profiles of all these wells can be seen. It shows that 2017 wells are again slightly ahead of 2016 wells. A typical well now peaks at close to 570 bo/d, followed by a similar decline profile as that of earlier wells, which hit a production rate of 50 bo/d after 4 to 5 years.

Last month I mentioned a well (“3302500736”) that had an astonishing performance in June.  In July the reported production of this well was 0, so I suspect that there was a data issue in the NDIC report in the month before.

The last tab (“Top operators”) shows that among the top producers, Continental Resources increased its production the most in July. It completed more wells than it drilled since the start of this year, reducing its DUC inventory.


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, with wells grouped by the quarter in which they started production.

The 4th tab (“Productivity ranking”), ranks the performance of all operators by the average performance of their wells, at the 2 year mark. Of the operators with more than 100 wells, you can see that Enerplus, QEP, EOG and WPX have the best performing wells, with an average cumulative production of about 185 kbo after 2 years.

I plan to have a new post on all 10 covered states on Monday (changed).

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.


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