North Dakota – update until 2016-01

Based on the latest NDIC data, total oil production in North Dakota fell to 1122 kbo/d in January, again a monthly drop of 30 kbo/d. This decline was slightly higher than I expected. The number of new wells producing dropped to 70.

I have added 2 tabs in the above presentation; one that shows the top operators, and another one that shows the gas and water production that is produced together with the oil, in North Dakota. By using the arrows you can browse through the 5 tabs.

Drilling activity has continued to drop sharply during the last months. There were 88 wells spudded in December, 61 in January, and based on preliminary data it looks like just 30 wells were spudded in February. This sharp drop surprised me, as the drop is even more steep than the drop in rigs. This indicates that the drilling efficiency has dropped again these months.

I have read several reports in the media recently (e.g. )  that operators have been able to “flatten the production curve” (lower initial production and/or higher production later in life). As I have shown in the “well quality” tab in the presentations of each of the shale oil basins, this is in contrast with what the data tells me, at least so far. Recent wells in each of the basins appear to have a higher initial production, followed by a steeper (relatively) decline.

By the end of next week I will post another update on the Niobrara.


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.