North Dakota – update until 2016-03

Total oil production in North Dakota fell to 1109 kbo/d in March, a monthly drop of 10 kbo/d. This decline was less than I expected (> 20 kbo/d). I see 2 reasons for that:

  • A somewhat larger than expected number of new wells started production in March (63, which was one more than in Feb).
  • Wells that started production since the 2nd half of 2015 stay, on average, longer on an elevated level than earlier wells. By month 8 many are still producing around 300 bo/d (or are on a path to produce that much), compared with 200 bo/d for a typical earlier well. You can see this most clearly see in the “Well quality” tab (using the filter to only see wells since 2015) and then to group by “month of first flow”.

A few more observations:

  • Only 31 wells were spud in March, the same number as in February.
  • Although the number of newly producing wells declined each month (on a per-day basis) for the last 4 months, the decline in rig count was far sharper. This has eaten into the DUC inventory recently.
  • So far 2016 vintage wells track the 2015 wells very closely.
  • All major operators are showing declines in March (see “Top companies” tab). XTO (not shown there) however showed a big increase in production during 2016.
  • It appears that Continental Resources didn’t put any new wells on production after November. Whiting started just 12 so far this year. XTO has been most active the first quarter with 52 wells, followed by Hess with 30.

Around May 21/22, I plan to post 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.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.