North Dakota – update through September 2018

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 14,050 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production since 2005, through September.

Oil production in North Dakota jumped to 1,359 kbo/d in September, a month-on-month increase of more than 5%, which again set a new record. Just over 150 wells were brought into production, the highest number in more than 3 years. The year-to-date number of new producers is now almost the same as for the full 2017 (933 vs. 992).

The 2nd tab (“Well quality”), shows that recent wells are performing initially slightly better than those from 2017. Lateral lengths have slowly increased in the past couple of years, to just over 10k feet on average. Proppant loadings have increased faster, and have more than doubled in the past 4 years, to an average of about 10 million pounds per completion. This is still significantly below the average completion size in the Permian or the Eagle Ford (~15 million pounds).

In the “Well status” tab you can find the status of all these wells. By selecting just the status “DUC”, you’ll find that the number of drilled, but uncompleted wells has fallen in the summer months, to almost a 5-year low.

You can find in the last tab (“Top operators”), that all major operators were able to grow production in September, with Continental Resources clearly in the lead.


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. You can see more granular and recent data by grouping the wells by quarter or month of first production.

The improvements in initial performance in recent years are clearly revealed here. Interestingly, you can see that later in life the wells from 2009-2011 experience a shallower decline than later wells. This holds even if you exclude the wells that have been refractured (which is possible in our online analytics service).

Later this week I plan to have a new post on the Marcellus, followed by updates on the Niobrara and the Permian next week.

We are now collaborating with enelyst, an online chat platform for energy traders and analysts. We’ll host a weekly show there every Tuesday at 10:30 am (EST) for about 30 minutes, starting with today! Each time, we’ll take a basin and explain some significant trends in more detail, utilizing the latest insights we get from our ShaleProfile Analytics service, and we are open to Q&A. You can join it live, or later on the day review the discussions at your own leisure. You can join as follows:

If you are already an enelyst member:

Jump directly to the ShaleProfile Permian basin update this Tuesday at 10:30 am EST by hitting the channel link: Enter the ShaleProfile Briefings Channel

If you are not yet an enelyst member:

Sign up for free at:
Using the code: “Shale18


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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