Bakken Shale Drilling

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Four to 197

Does the Bakken Have too Much Natural Gas?
Bakken Oil Well

Bakken Oil Well | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by four to 197 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 196 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around eight of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, the oil & gas renaissance in the U.S. has nearly catapulted the country to the top spot for oil production in the world, and most experts believe the U.S. will hit this target by next year. But is it possible that the country and the Bakken has too much of a good thing? When it comes to natural gas that may be the case.

According to the BP 2014 statistical world energy review, the U.S. is currently the top natural gas producing country in the world at 328 Bcf/d. Over the past five years, natural gas production has grown over 20% in the U.S., thanks in large part to the shale revolution. But the price of natural gas has struggled to break $4/mmbtu, and oil companies in North Dakota’s and Montana’s Bakken Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas have flared much of their produced natural gas in favor of capturing oil, which is a much higher valued commodity.

Read more: Bakken Natural Gas – Too Much of a Good Thing?

The U.S. rig count stayed flat at 1,931 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 329 rigs were targeting natural gas (nine less than the previous week) and 1,601 were targeting oil in the U.S. (9 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 198 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 189 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 196 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is two more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and seven more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around eight rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by four to 197 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased slightly from the previous week, trading at $92.48/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $74.19/bbl on Sept. 19th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at just under $6 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.84/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 66 rigs running. Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 30 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 178 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 19 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 66 66 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 7 7 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 4 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Two to 193

Continental Resources' President and COO Rick Bott Quits
Continental Resources Bakken Three Forks Map

Continental Resources Bakken-Three Forks Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by two to 193 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 199 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 14 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, the Bakken’s second largest producer, Continental Resources, Inc., announced last week that President and COO W.F. “Rick” Bott, 54, has resigned to “pursue other opportunities.”

According to company officials, his duties will be absorbed by senior management. Bott joined Continental in 2012, and worked previously at Cairn India Ltd and in Devon Energy Corp’s international division.

Read more: Major Bakken Producer – Continental Resources – President Quits

The U.S. rig count increased by six to 1,931 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 338 rigs were targeting natural gas (two more than the previous week) and 1,592 were targeting oil in the U.S. (8 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)194 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 185 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 199 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is five more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 14 more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 14 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by two to 193 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased slightly from the previous week, trading at $92.34/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $73.94/bbl on Aug. 29th. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at just under $7 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.94/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 66 rigs running. Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 30 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 177 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 16 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 66 66 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 7 7 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 4 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 191

Pembina Pipeline Corp. Acquires Bakken Assets - $650-Million
Saskatchewan Ethane Processing Plant

Saskatchewan Ethane Processing Plant|Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 191 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 198 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 15 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Pembina Pipeline Corp. announced in early Sept. 2014 it will acquire Bakken midstream assets for $650-million from entities affiliated with Riverstone Holdings, LLC.

Read more: Pembina Acquires Bakken Assets – $650 Million

The U.S. rig count increased by 11 to 1,925 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 340 rigs were targeting natural gas (two more than the previous week) and 1,584 were targeting oil in the U.S. (nine more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 192 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 183 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 198 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is six more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 15 more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 15 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $93.25/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $79.94/bbl on Aug. 29th. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at just under $7 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.98/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 66 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 175 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 16 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 67 66 FALLON MT 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 35 35 DANIELS MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 33 33 DAWSON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 26 26 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 10 10 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 4 WIBAUX MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 WARD ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 1 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 191

Conoco Q2 Bakken Production Increases 19% Quarter on Quarter
Conoco Phillips Bakken Acreage Map

Conoco Phillips Bakken Acreage Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 191 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 194 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 19 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Conoco Phillips, a major Bakken operator, grew its production by 38% year-over-year to 208,000 boe/d in the Eagle Ford Shale and Bakken Shale plays combined. That’s ~39% of the company’s total production for its Lower 48 asset portfolio. In the Bakken, production grew 19% quarter-on-quarter from 43,000 boe/d to 51,000 boe/d. However, company officials expect for the rate of growth to slow in both plays in the second half of the year due to multi-pad drilling effects and weather-related issues in the fourth quarter.

Read more: Conoco’s Bakken Production Up 19% – Q2 2014

The U.S. rig count increased by 18 to 1,914 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 338 rigs were targeting natural gas (eight more than the previous week) and 1,575 were targeting oil in the U.S. (11 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 192 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 183 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 194 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is two more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and eleven more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 19 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $95.85/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $82.69/bbl on Aug. 29th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at ~$6 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $4.08/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 67 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 175 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 16 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE MT 67 67 BILLINGS MT 2 1
WILLIAMS ND 35 35 DANIELS ND 0 0
MOUNTRAIL MT 33 33 DAWSON ND 0 0
DUNN MT 26 26 SHERIDAN ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 10 10 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND ND 4 4 WIBAUX ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT ND 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 3 3 MCLEAN MT 0 0
RENVILLE ND 3 3 MERCER MT 0 0
STARK ND 2 3 WARD ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
FALLON ND 1 1

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by One to 191

DMR: North Dakota Hits Record Oil & Gas Production - June 2014
Bakken Oil Well

Bakken Oil Well | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one to 191 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 19 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, North Dakota hit nearly 1.1-million b/d oil in June 2014, setting a new record, according to the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR) AugustDirector’s Cut. During the same month, North Dakota also had record monthly gas production (1,253,154 mcf/d), and the highest recorded number of producing wells (11,079).

Read more: North Dakota Hits Record Oil & Gas Production – June 2014

The U.S. rig count decreased by 17 to 1,896 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 330 rigs were targeting natural gas (nine more than the previous week) and 1,564 were targeting oil in the U.S. (25 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 192 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 183 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is one more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and ten more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 19 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by one to 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $93.57/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $80.69/bbl on Aug. 21st. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at ~$9 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.85/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 67 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 175 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 16 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 70 67 FALLON MT 0 1
WILLIAMS ND 34 35 DANIELS MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 32 33 DAWSON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 26 26 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 11 10 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 4 WIBAUX MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Three to 192

NDIC Plans to Hold Public Hearing to Evaluate Ways to Reduce Bakken Crude Volatility
Bakken Oilfield StorageTanks

Bakken Oilfield Storage Tanks | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by three to 192 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 194 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 16 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) plans to hold a public hearing in the next few weeks to determine ways to reduce the volatility of Bakken crude before it is stored or transported.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported North Dakota officials are considering requiring oil & gas companies to treat Bakken crude before it is loaded onto trains. Stabilization, which is common in similar shale plays like the Ealge Ford Shale, is also being discussed among officials.

Read more: NDIC Considers Bakken Crude Treatment

The U.S. rig count increased by five to 1,913 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 321 rigs were targeting natural gas (five more than the previous week) and 1,589 were targeting oil in the U.S. (one more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 194 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 185 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 194 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is the same figure Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, but 9 more than the company reports in North Dakota. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 16 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by three to 192 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $97.09/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $82.19/bbl on Aug. 14th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at ~$6 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.77/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 70 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 176 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 1 rig is drilling a vertical well

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 65 70 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 36 34 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 33 32 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 26 26 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 10 11 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 WIBAUX MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Five to 189

Magnum Hunter Resources Announces its Exit from North Dakota Bakken
Magnum Hunter Resources Bakken Acreage Map

Magnum Hunter Resources Bakken Acreage Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by five to 189 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 23 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Magnum Hunter announced last week that the company will sell its Divide County, North Dakota operated/non-operated properties and reallocate resources to core operations in the Appalachian Basin. Baytex Energy, Continental Resources, or Samson Resources are all likely buyers for the acreage.

Read moreMagnum Hunter Decides to Exit North Dakota Bakken

The U.S. rig count increased by 19 to 1,908 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 316 rigs were targeting natural gas (three more than the previous week) and 1,588 were targeting oil in the U.S. (15 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 191 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 182 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is two more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 11 more than the company reports in North Dakota. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND rigs in areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 23 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by five to 189 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $97.57/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $84.19/bbl on Aug. 7th. The WTI-Brent stayed flat, settling at ~$7 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.97/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 65 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 174 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 14 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 1 rig is drilling a vertical well

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 62 65 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 35 36 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 33 33 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 25 26 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 10 10 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 WIBAUX MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 2 WARD ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Two to 184

SM Energy Grabs 61,000 Bakken Net Acres - $330 Million
SM Energy Bakken Map

SM Energy Bakken Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by two to 184 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 21 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, SM Energy recently announced it will acquire approximately 61,000 net acres in Divide and Williams Counties for $330-million from Baytex Energy. The acreage is directly adjacent to the company’s Gooseneck focus area. Upon closing, the company will have ~97,000 acres in the area.

Read moreSM Energy Grabs 61,000 Bakken Net Acres – $330 Million

The U.S. rig count increased by six to 1,889 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 313 rigs were targeting natural gas (five less than the previous week) and 1,573 were targeting oil in the U.S. (11 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 186 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 177 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is seven more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 16 more than the company reports in North Dakota. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND rigs in areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 21 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by two to 184 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$4 from the previous week, trading at $97.60/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $84.69/bbl on July 24th. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at ~$7 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.80/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 62 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 170 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 1 rig is drilling a vertical well

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 66 62 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 35 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 33 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 25 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 10 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 5 WIBAUX MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BURKE ND 7 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 182

DOT Seeks New Rail Car Design and Bakken Crude Testing
Oil Rail Car Image

Crude Oil Rail Car | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 182 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 192 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 15 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new rules last week for the testing of Bakken crude and better designed rail cars. Within two years, the DOT proposes phasing out older DOT-111 tank cars for the shipment of packing group I flammable liquids, which includes most Bakken crude.

Read moreDOT Seeks New Rail Car Design and Bakken Crude Testing 

The U.S. rig count increased by 12 to 1,883 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 318 rigs were targeting natural gas (three more than the previous week) and 1,562 were targeting oil in the U.S. (eight more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 184 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 178 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 192 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is eight more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 14 more than the company reports in North Dakota. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND rigs in areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 15 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 182 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$1 from the previous week, trading at $101.99/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $88.69/bbl on July 24th. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at ~$6 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.78/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 66 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 171 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 11 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 66 66 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 7 7 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 4 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Five to 182

Whiting Petroleum Acquires Kodiak Oil & Gas - $3.8 Billion
Whiting Bakken Acreage Map

Whiting Bakken Acreage Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by five to 182 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 196 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 14 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Whiting Petroleum announced on July 13, 2014, that it would acquire Kodiak Oil & Gas, in an all stock transaction, for $3.8 billion. The deal makes the combined company the largest Bakken/Three Forks producer, unseating Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources from the top spot.

Read moreWhiting Petroleum Acquires Kodiak Oil & Gas – $3.8 Billion

The U.S. rig count decreased by four to 1,871 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 315 rigs were targeting natural gas (four more than the previous week) and 1,554 were targeting oil in the U.S. (nine less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 184 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 178 are in ND alone.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it’s close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 196 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 12 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 18 more than the company reports in North Dakota. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND rigs in areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that around 14 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by five to 182 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by ~$2 from the previous week, trading at $102.97/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $89.94/bbl on July 18th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at ~$4 by the end of last week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.95/mmbtu by the end of last week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 66 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 171 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 11 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts – Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Bakken Drilling by County


County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 63 66 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 33 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 5 7 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 4 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 2 2

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count.

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