North Dakota – update through January 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 12224 horizontal wells in North Dakota since 2005, through January 2017.

After the severe drop in December, oil production in North Dakota rose again in January, by 38 kbo/d to 980 kbo/d.

As the 2nd overview (“Well quality”) shows, the wells that started in 2016 were again better,  on average, than earlier wells. Their number was however far smaller; less than half compared with 2015 (736 vs. 1521).

In the “Well status” tab you’ll see that in January 62 new wells started production, versus 82 in December.

The final overview shows that apart from Whiting, the other 4 major operators all increased production in January. Since early 2016, EOG has increased its oil production by about 50%. This was mostly by completing existing DUCs, as not many new wells were drilled.

The new ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how all these horizontal wells are heading towards their ultimate oil or gas recovery.

This plot also reveals the increases in initial recovery in recent year, and that trend has continued in 2016.

But it does appear that these initial gains are not extended further after 1-2 years on production. Also, looking at the wells from 2012-2014, some of these gains have been returned, compared with the 2010-2011 vintages. It will be interesting to see whether the 2015 and 2016 wells can avoid such fate.

If you switch to gas, you can see a much more remarkable improvement in the last 2 years. This has led to an increase of gas production of about 50%, relative to oil production.

Early next week, I plan an update on the Permian, if by then the New Mexico production numbers for December are available.

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)  is produced 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.