North Dakota – update through May 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 12463 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production since 2005, through May 2017.

Oil production in North Dakota dropped with about 1% in May over the previous month, even though 87 new horizontal wells started production. This was the highest number since October 2015. Gas production climbed higher to 1.85 Bcf/day, which was a new record.

In the “Well quality” tab, the production profiles of all these wells can be seen. The dark blue curve, representing the average performance of the wells that started in 2016, was again higher than the 2015 curve, in the first 12 months. But the number of 2016 wells was also 50% lower.  With a lateral length over 10 thousand feet, the average new well in North Dakota is still quite a bit longer than the average well in the other tight oil & gas basins.

The last tab (“Top operators”) shows that in May, Continental Resources took over the leading position from Whiting.


The ‘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.

Also here you’ll see the improvement in initial performance of 2016 wells over earlier wells.  You can switch to quarter or “month of first flow” to see a more detailed and recent picture.

The last tab (Water ratio) gives an overview of how associated water production has increased in recent years, and that it is now at a level slightly above that of oil production for the first time since 2010.

I’m working on several new posts, but these are not planned yet. Stay tuned!

For these presentations, 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 presentations have 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.