North Dakota – update through August 2018

These interactive presentations contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 13,899 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production since 2005, through August.

Oil production in North Dakota came in at 1,291 kbo/d in August, after a month-on-month rise of 1.7%, setting again a new record. As the graph shows, the 782 wells that started production in 2018 contributed already to more than 1/3rd of total production in August. They produced more than the ~10k wells that started before 2015.

After the high number of new producers in July (141 horizontal wells), 133 more came online in August. As this year around 100 wells were drilled so far each month, these recent completion numbers reduced the number of DUCs.

The production profiles for all these wells can be seen in the “Well quality” tab. The 2018 wells are so far tracking closely the performance of the wells from the year before.


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 quarter in which production started.

The 275 wells that started in Q3 2017 still show the best results so far (dark brown curve). They recovered on average 178 thousand barrels of oil in the first year of production. They appear to be on a path to recover about 1 more time that amount, before turning into stripper wells (<= 15 bo/d).

In the 4th tab (“Productivity ranking”), all operators are ranked based on the average performance of their wells, as measured by the total oil recovered in the first 2 years. If you only select recent years, 2014-2016 (using the “first production year” selection), you’ll find that Enerplus comes out clearly on top. The 47 operated wells that started in this time frame recovered on average 289 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years.

Next week I plan to have a new post on the Marcellus.

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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