Bakken Shale Drilling

Bakken Rigs Count Down to 109

North Dakota to get $1.1 Billion for Infrastructure
Bakken Oil Well

Bakken Oil Well | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by 12 t0 109 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota signed legislation that grants massive emergency funding to counties and cities statewide in order to bolster the lagging infrastructure. The bulk of the money is targeted to fix roadways and bridges that have not been able to keep up with the increased traffic of heavy oil field equipment that the shale boom has brought to the Bakken area.

Read more: Governor Dalrymple Commits to Infrastructure

The U.S. rig count fell another 43 to 1267 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 280 rigs were targeting natural gas (down nine from the previous week) and 986 were targeting oil in the U.S. (33 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 111 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 108 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by 12 t0 109 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by $1.66 from the previous week, trading at $48.84/bbl on Friday afternoon. The WTI-Brent saw an increase decrease of $96 by week’s end, landing at $61.35. Natural gas rigs remained flat with futures trading at $2.71/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 44 rigs running. Williams (21), Mountrail (21) counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 109 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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 45 44 VALLEY MT 1 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 21 21 WIBAUX MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 26 21 BILLINGS MT 0 0
DUNN ND 20 16 BOTTINEAU ND 1 0
RICHLAND MT 3 3 BURKE ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
GOLDEN VALLEY ND 1 1 MERCER ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 RENVILLE ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0 STARK ND 0 0
FALLON MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND  0  0
SHERIDAN MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

Small Oil Companies Express Optimism

Obama Issues Keystone Pipeline Veto

EOG Reduces 2015 Capex 40 Percent

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.

Read more at bakerhughes.com


Bakken Rig Count Ends Week at 121

Kinder Morgan Finalizes Acquisition of Hiland
rig count bakken

Rig Count Declines in Bakken

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by five t0 121 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, Kinder Morgan announced last week that it finalized the acquisition of Hiland Partners, a midstream firm founded by Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources. The deal, reported at $3 billion, includes assuming almost $1 billion in debt.

Read more: Kinder Morgan Acquires Hiland

The U.S. rig count fell another 48 to 1310 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 289 rigs were targeting natural gas (down 11 from the previous week) and 1019 were targeting oil in the U.S. (37 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 123 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 119 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by five t0 121 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by $2.14 from the previous week, trading at $50.50/bbl on Friday afternoon. The WTI-Brent saw an increase decrease of $3.34 by week’s end, landing at $60.39. Natural gas rigs remained flat with futures trading at $2.94/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 45 rigs running. Williams (26), Mountrail (21) and Dunn (20) counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 119 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 1 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 1 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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 47 45 ROOSEVELT MT 2 0
WILLIAMS ND 28 26 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 21 21 WIBAUX MT 0 0
DUNN ND 20 20 BILLINGS MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 3 3 BURKE ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
VALLEY MT 0 1 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 1 1 RENVILLE ND 0 0
GOLDEN VALLEY ND 1 1 STARK ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
FALLON MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

John Hofmeister Challenges NAPE Attendees

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.

Read more at bakerhughes.com

 


Bakken Rig Count Slides to 126

Occidental Reduces 2015 Spending in the Bakken
Occidental Bakken Acreage

Occidental Bakken Acreage|Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by nine t0 126 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, Occidental announced it will scale back its 2015 capital spending by 33 percent to $5.8 billion from $8.7 billion spent in 2014. In addition to the cuts, the company will also be reducing its activity in the Bakken. 

Read more: Occidental Petroleum Reduced 2015 Capex by 33%

The U.S. rig count fell another 98 to 1358 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 300 rigs were targeting natural gas (down 14 from the previous week) and 1056 were targeting oil in the U.S. (84 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 129 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 123 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by nine t0 126 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by $.95 from the previous week, trading at $52.64/bbl on Friday afternoon.. The WTI-Brent saw a decrease of $.75 by week’s end, landing at $57.05. Natural gas rigs decreased by one with futures trading at $2.80/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 47 rigs running. Williams (28), Mountrail (21) and Dunn (20) counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 125 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 1 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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 49 47 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 30 28 VALLEY MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL MT 23 21 WIBAUX MT 0 0
DUNN MT 22 20 BILLINGS ND 1 0
RICHLAND MT 3 3 BURKE MT 0 0
DIVIDE MT 3 3 MCLEAN MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU MT 1 1 RENVILLE MT 0 0
GOLDEN VALLEY MT 1 1 STARK ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
DAWSON ND 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
FALLON ND 0 0


Bakken Oil & Gas News

North Dakota Tax Trigger Getting Closer

Occidental Petroleum Reduced 2015 Capex by 33%

Keystone Bill Hits Another Snag

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.

Read the full repot at bakerhughes.com


Bakken Rig Count Down 10 to 135

Producers Announce Big Cuts in Region
rig count bakken

Rig Count Declines in Bakken

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by ten t0 135 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, Hess Corporation recently announced revisions to its 2015 capital and exploratory budget that includes a big cut in the Bakken. The company plans to reduce spending in the region by 18% from 2014 numbers, hoping to allow the company to remain flexible in the face of an extreme pricing environment. 

Read more: Hess to Reduce Bakken Spending by 18%

The U.S. rig count fell another 87 to 1456  rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 314 rigs were targeting natural gas (down 2 from the previous week) and 1,317 1140 were targeting oil in the U.S. (177 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 137 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 132 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by ten to 135 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by $3.45 from the previous week, trading at $51.69/bbl on Friday afternoon.. The WTI-Brent also saw an increase of $4.81 by week’s end, landing at $57.80. Natural gas rigs increased by one with futures trading at $2.58/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 49 rigs running. Williams (30), Mountrail (23) and Dunn (22) counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 130 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 3 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 2 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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 52 49 FALLON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 30 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 25 23 VALLEY MT 0 0
DUNN MT 23 22 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 3 BURKE ND 0 0
DIVIDE MT 4 3 MCLEAN MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 1 2 MERCER MT 0 0
BILLINGS MT 1 1 RENVILLE ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 1 1 STARK ND 1 0
GOLDEN VALLEY MT 1 1 WARD ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0

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 Rig Count Down to 145

Companies Begin Layoffs
oil prices and layoffs

Energy Workers Face Layoffs

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by six t0 145 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, companies finally caught up with plummeting oil prices and began laying off workers this month. Since November, one company after another announced massive reductions in their 2015 budgets as they have scrambled to cope with the dramatic 50% drop in crude prices since the summer.

Read more: Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

The U.S. rig count fell by 90 to 1543 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 316 rigs were targeting natural gas (up 6 from the previous week) and 1,317 were targeting oil in the U.S. (ten less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).  145 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 138 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by six to 145 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by $3.10 from the previous week, trading at $48.24/bbl on Friday afternoon. The WTI-Brent also saw an increase of close to $5 by week’s end, landing at $52.00. Natural gas rigs stayed flat with futures (Henry Hub) trading at $2.69/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 52 rigs running. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 139 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 4 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 2 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 56 52 DAWSON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 31 32 FALLON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 27 25 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 4 WIBAUX MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 4 BURKE ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 1 1 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS MT 1 1 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 1 1 RENVILLE ND 1 0
GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 1 WARD ND 0 0
STARK ND 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0

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 Play Rig Count Declines by 11

Williston Basin Sees Lowest Numbers Since 2011
Williston Basin Rig Map

Williston Basin Rig Map in 2013

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by eleven to 152 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. In their weekly rig update, Baker Hughes reported that the Bakken’s decline is part of the overall plunge in U.S. oil and gas rig counts that are down by 49 to 1633.

Declines were seen in all rig types:

DIRECTIONAL 6 (-6)
HORIZONTAL 144 (-8)
VERTICAL 1 (-2)

Most alarming to our readers is that Williston saw the biggest drop in the entire country and is showing the lowest numbers in four years.

James Williams Williams, president of energy consulting company WTRG Economics commented to Bloomberg that,  “The Bakken was late to join the others leaving the party. It’s a high-cost producer with some of the lowest oil prices in the country.”

 

State Previous Wk Current Wk
SHERIDAN MT 1 1
BILLINGS MT 1 1
ROOSEVELT MT 6 5
DANIELS MT 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0
FALLON MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 0 0
VALLEY MT 1 0
WIBAUX MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 1 1
BURKE ND 2 1
RENVILLE ND 1 1
STARK ND 1 1
DIVIDE ND 3 3
DUNN ND 23 23
MOUNTRAIL ND 27 27
WILLIAMS ND 33 31
MCKENZIE ND 62 56
GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
MCLEAN ND 0 0
MERCER ND 0 0
WARD ND 0 0
MCHENRY ND 0 0
162 151

 

This news is a result of the continued free-fall in crude prices, which dipped again today to $45.14. As expected, major Bakken operators are responding by continuing to slash their budgets for 2015.

Read more: Halcón Resources Reduces 2015 Budget

Read more: More Budget Cuts for Continental Resources

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.

Read more at BakerHughes.com

 


Bakken Rig Count Decreases to 163

Budget Cuts and Layoffs Mark Crisis in Region
rig count bakken

Rig Count Sharply Declines in Bakken

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased sharply over the past month, ending last week with a total of 163 rigs across our coverage area. This represents a drop of seven from last week and a startling 17 from only one month ago, according to the weekly report from Baker Hughes.

WTI crude prices have decreased by ~$9.59 since December 19th, trading at $55.99/bbl on Monday morning. As oil prices continue to drop, reports of deeper budget cuts and layoffs are now daily news.

Related: Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

Related: Halcón Resources Reduces 2015 Budget

The Bakken isn’t the only region to see a decline. The U.S. rig count decreased to 1,676 rigs running by the end of last week with a total of 310 rigs targeting natural gas (down 28 from December) and 1,366 targeting oil in the U.S. (down 170 since December). 165 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 156 are in ND alone.

County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 62 62
WILLIAMS ND 35 33
MOUNTRAIL ND 28 27
DUNN ND 26 23
RICHLAND MT 6 6
DIVIDE ND 3 3
BURKE ND 2 2
ROOSEVELT MT 1 1
SHERIDAN MT 1 1
WIBAUX MT 1 1
BILLINGS ND 2 1
BOTTINEAU ND 1 1
RENVILLE ND 2 1
STARK ND 0 1

 

Activity in the Bakken continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 152 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 8 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 3 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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.

Read more at BakerHughes.com


Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by Seven to 180

Bakken Operators Slash Budgets for 2015
Bakken Producers Slash 2015 Budgets

Bakken Operators Slash 2015 Budgets

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by seven t0 180 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 178 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 13 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, as the free-fall in crude prices continues, major Bakken operators are expressing their caution by slashing their budgets for 2015.

Marathon Oil is the latest giant to announce that its projected budget will curb exploration spending by a whopping 20% for 2015. Though the company still forecasts spending in upwards of $4.4 billion, the decrease is another sign that the spiraling oil prices are casting a dark shadow over the incredible growth that is taking place in the shale regions.

Read moreBakken Operators Slash Budgets for 2015

The U.S. rig count decreased by 18 to 1,875 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 338 rigs were targeting natural gas (down 8 from the previous week) and 1,536 were targeting oil in the U.S. (ten less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 181 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 172 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 178 rigs are active in North Dakota. That figure is three less than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and six 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 13 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by seven to 179 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$2.00 from the previous week, trading at $55.99/bbl on Monday morning. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $40.19/bbl on December 19th. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, settling at just under $5 by the end of last week.

One natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.14/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. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 26 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 167 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 10 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 3 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 67 MCLEAN ND 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 42 41 RENVILLE ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 29 30 STARK ND 1 1
DUNN ND 27 26 MCHENRY ND 1 1
RICHLAND MT 5 5 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 5 4 FALLON MT 1 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 2 VALLEY MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 1 1 WARD ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 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 187

Univ. of Texas Releases Study Focusing on Correlation Between Well Technology and Methane Emissions During Natural Gas Production

Oil torch against the cloudy skyThe Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one t0 187 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 181 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 12 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, a new study led by researchers from The University of Texas hopes to provide clues to better understand the correlation between well technology and methane emissions during the natural gas production process.

The findings, published December 9th in Environmental Science & Technology, indicate that the overwhelming majority of methane emissions are from two types of wells; those that use pneumatic devices and those that use liquid unloading.

Read more: Methane Emission From Two Main Sources Says UT Study

The U.S. rig count decreased by 27 to 1,893 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 346 rigs were targeting natural gas (up 2 from the previous week) and 1,546 were targeting oil in the U.S. (29 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 188 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 179 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 181 rigs are active in North Dakota. That figure is seven less than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and two 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 12 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by one to 186 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$6.00 from the previous week, trading at $57.99/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $43.69/bbl on December 12th. The WTI-Brent stayed the same, settling at just under $4 by the end of last week.

One natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.74/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, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 26 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 172 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 12 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 3 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 WIBAUX MT 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 41 42 MCLEAN ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 28 STARK ND 1 1
DUNN ND 26 26 MCHENRY ND 1 1
RICHLAND MT 5 5 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 4 4 DAWSON MT 1 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 FALLON MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 VALLEY MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 1 2 WARD ND 0 0
SHERIDAN MT 0 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 Three to 188

Falling Oil Prices: How Low is Too Low for Bakken Producers

Falling Oil PriceThe Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by three t0 188 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 190 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, analysts and industry leaders are worried about the effects low oil prices will have on the booming shale industry, including investment and drilling interests in the Bakken play. Since extracting shale oil is currently a more expensive process than conventional production methods, Bakken producers may be more vulnerable to lower crude prices.

Read more: Falling Oil Prices: How Low is too Low for Bakken Producers?

The U.S. rig count decreased by 3 to 1,920 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 344 rigs were targeting natural gas (flat from the previous week) and 1,575 were targeting oil in the U.S. (three less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 189 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 180 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 190 rigs are active in North Dakota. That figure 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 15 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by three to 187 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$3.00 from the previous week, trading at $64.33/bbl on Monday morning. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $49.44/bbl on December 5th. The WTI-Brent stayed flat, settling at just under $4 by the end of last week.

One natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $3.70/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. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 27 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 172 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 3 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

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Bakken Drilling by County

County State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 66 67 MCLEAN ND 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 42 41 RENVILLE ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 29 30 STARK ND 1 1
DUNN ND 27 26 MCHENRY ND 1 1
RICHLAND MT 5 5 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 5 4 FALLON MT 1 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 2 VALLEY MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 1 1 WARD ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 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.


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