North Dakota – update until 2016-06

Total oil production in North Dakota decreased by 20 kbo/d to 1027 kbo/d in June, after a small increase (5 kbo/d) the previous month. I expect that we will see a few more months of similar decline rates (although there can be big monthly variations), given the low number of new completions.

Some observations:

  • 43 wells started flowing in June, compared with 45 in May.
  • Although I mentioned during my last update, that well performance in North Dakota, as a whole, is still improving, this observation did not consider that fewer wells are brought online since 2015. If we look at the performance of the top 100, or top 1000 wells in 2015 vs 2014, as measured by the cumulative oil return in the first 7 calendar months (which is all the data we have for all 2015 wells), then there is actually a small decline in performance. I found this quite surprising, as I expected to see some improvement from the larger fracs.

What is new this time is the ability to see the well performance of individual wells. If you go to the “Well quality” tab, you will see a new filter “Well name”, which shows all the well names, and their API numbers. I recommend first using the other filters to narrow down the selection, and then using this filter to see the performance of individual wells. If you only have the API number of a well you want to see, you can enter this into the search box of the filter.

I used this new feature to analyze the performance of old individual 2006-2007 wells. I was surprised to see how often there appear to be well interventions during the lifetime of a well. This new filter may also help in determining decline rates for wells late in life, as it allows you to filter out those wells that have had large interventions (e.g. refracs).

This feature also allows you much easier to verify the data that I show in these presentations with any production data you are familiar with. For North Dakota, I use the production data from the monthly NDIC production reports, so if you encounter a difference, then please first check this with the relevant monthly report.

Another small change is in the “Well Status” tab. I saw that there was some confusion on the meaning of the well status “Spud”, as some people thought this status applied only to the month in which the well was spud, but I used it also for all months after that, until first production. I’ve now split this status, into “1. Spud”, which only holds for the month in which the well was spud, and “2. DUC”, for all following months until production is started.

Note that the typical meaning of a DUC well is that it is already completely drilled, but as I don’t have this information, I assign a well to this status already after it is spud.

This change also makes it easier to compare the number of new well spuds, and the number of new wells that are on production for the first time (“3. First flow”).

On Sunday August 28th, I plan 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.