North Dakota – update through December 2016

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all (12163) horizontal wells in North Dakota since 2005, through December 2016.

Just two months after North Dakota saw the biggest rise in oil production in its history, it experienced the steepest decline. Total oil production in December came in at 942 kbo/d, down by 92 kbo/d from the previous month.

Severe winter weather impaired completion operations, and extra wells were shut-in. January was also a harsh month, so I don’t expect a reversal very soon.

Still, a sizeable number of new wells came online, 82, vs 83 in November (see “Well status” tab) .

Of the top operators, only EOG was able to increase production in December, as the last overview shows.

The new ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows towards which ultimate recovery wells from the past several years are heading. I’ve deselected Bowman county, which includes some excellent, but conventional, horizontal wells. Without this county, the increase in performance in real Bakken wells over the last decade becomes visible. In recent years this improvement has stagnated, although initial recovery is still increasing, as the higher tops (indicating higher production rates) show.

If you’re interested in more recent performance, please choose to show production by “Quarter” or “month of first flow”.

In the 2nd tab (“Cumulative production ranking”), you can see all those 11937 horizontal wells outside of Bowman county, ranked by cumulative production; 5 of them have produced more than 1 million barrels of oil through last December, while 169 produced so far more than 500 thousand barrels of oil.

[Update] Although I planned the new Projections post for this week, I received some good suggestions for improvements on a preliminary version. I now plan to release this post coming Monday.

For this presentation, 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)  still comes from conventional vertical wells.



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.
  • 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.