Bakken Shale Drilling

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.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by One to 177

Baytex Energy May Sell Bakken Assets
Baytex Energy Bakken Assets

Baytex Energy Bakken Assets | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by one to 177 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 190 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 18 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Calgary-based Baytex Energy appears to be on the verge of divesting some of its assets, and the company’s Bakken acreage may soon be on the auction block. Baytex officials say the company conducted a portfolio review of assets late in the second quarter in response to a recent $2.8 billion acquisition in the Eagle Ford Shale. During that process certain assets were earmarked for divestment, which officials say would be used to pay down debt.

Read more: Baytex Energy May Sell Bakken Assets

The U.S. rig count increased by one to 1,875 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 311 rigs were targeting natural gas (flat from the previous week) and 1,563 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.). 179 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 190 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 11 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 18 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by one to 177 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$3 from the previous week, trading at $100.76/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $87.44/bbl on July 11th. 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 $4.14/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 63 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 23 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 164 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 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 64 63 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 33 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 30 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 8 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 1 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 1 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 176

EIA Says North Dakota & Texas Make Up Nearly Half of U.S. Oil Production
U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Oil Production | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count remained flat at 176 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 190 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 20 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, combined production from North Dakota and Texas made up nearly half of U.S. oil production according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in April of 2013.

Recently, the state of North Dakota hit the 1-million b/d mark for oil, nearly tripling its production over a three year period. The increase in production is directly related to the development of the Bakken Shale. Since April of 2011, production from the Bakken increased 19,000 b/d on average each month, according to the EIA.

Read more: North Dakota & Texas Make Up Half of U.S. Oil Production

The U.S. rig count increased by one to 1,874 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 311 rigs were targeting natural gas (three less than the previous week) and 1,562 were targeting oil in the U.S. (four more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 178 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 171 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 is 12 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 19 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs remained flat at 176 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$2 from the previous week, trading at $103.68/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $90.69/bbl on July 3rd. The WTI-Brent was about the same, 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 $4.29/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 64 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 23 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 161 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 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 64 64 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 31 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 8 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by Three to 176

Enterprise Products Partners Announces New Oil Pipeline from North Dakota to Cushing
Pipeline Construction

Pipeline Construction | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by three to 176 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 192 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 11 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Enterprise Products Partners announced at a pipeline summit in North Dakota in late June of 2014 it plans to build a 1,200 mile oil pipeline from the Bakken to Cushing, Oklahoma, a major gathering and distribution hub.The pipeline is planned to be 30 inches in diameter and would originate in Stanley, ND. Company officials said it will have a capacity of 340,000 bbls of oil and should be online by the end of 2016. The pipeline would be Enterprise’s first in North Dakota.

Read more: Enterprise Products Partners North Dakota Pipeline to Cushing

The U.S. rig count increased by 15 to 1,873 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 314 rigs were targeting natural gas (three more than the previous week) and 1,545 were targeting oil in the U.S. (13 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 178 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 171 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 14 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 21 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 11 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased  by three to 176 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$2 from the previous week, trading at $105.62/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $92.44/bbl on June 27th. The WTI-Brent opened up slightly, 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 $4.39/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 64 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 23 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 161 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 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 64 DAWSON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 32 32 FALLON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 31 31 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 VALLEY MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 8 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 0 2 RENVILLE ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
BILLINGS 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by One to 173

North Dakota Surpasses the 1-million b/d Oil Mark in April 2014
Bakken Oil Production Forecast - NDPA

Bakken Oil Production Forecast – NDPA | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by one to 173 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 189 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 State of North Dakota has surpassed the 1-million b/d oil mark according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s (NDIC) Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), thanks mostly to the Bakken Shale and Three Forks formation. The preliminary data, released in the monthly Director’s Cut in June of 2014, revealed April oil production was 1,001,149 b/d. North Dakota is second only to Texas for oil production.

Read more: North Dakota Hits the 1-Million b/d Mark

The U.S. rig count increased by four to 1,858 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 311 rigs were targeting natural gas (one more than the previous week) and 1,545 were targeting oil in the U.S. (three more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 175 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 170 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 189 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 14 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 19 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 increased  by one to 173 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by ~$1 from the previous week, trading at $107.26/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $93.19/bbl on June 19th. The WTI-Brent opened up slightly, 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 $4.55/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 63 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 23 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 158 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 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 62 63 FALLON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 31 32 ROOSEVELT MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 32 31 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 23 VALLEY MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 8 WIBAUX MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 2 RENVILLE ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by Four to 172

Summit Midstream Partners To Spend $300 Million on Four Bakken Development Projects
Pipeline Construction

Pipeline Construction | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by four to 172 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 185 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 20 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Summit Midstream Partners announced in June of 2014 that it will spend $300 million on four new development projects involving oil, water and natural gas gathering in the Bakken Shale play. The new projects will further expand the companies footprint in Williams and Divide counties.

Read more: Summit Midstream Expanding Bakken System – $300 Million

The U.S. rig count decreased by six to 1,854 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 310 rigs were targeting natural gas (ten less than the previous week) and 1,542 were targeting oil in the U.S. (four more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 174 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 169 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 185 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 11 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased  by four to 172 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by ~$4 from the previous week, trading at $106.91/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $93.44/bbl on June 13th. The WTI-Brent opened up slightly, 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 $4.74/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 62 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 23 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 156 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 60 62 FALLON MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 32 32 ROOSEVELT MT 2 0
WILLIAMS ND 30 31 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DUNN ND 24 23 VALLEY MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 8 WIBAUX MT 1 0
RICHLAND MT 6 5 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 2 RENVILLE ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by One to 176

North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) Implements First in Series of Policy Changes to Reduce Flaring in Bakken
North Dakota flaring

North Dakota Flaring | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one to 176 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 194 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, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) began implementing its first in a series of policy changes aimed at reducing flaring in the Bakken on June 1st. The NDIC’s new “gas capture plan” (GCP) rule will require E&P companies to submit a document with their application for a permit to the commission specifying how they plan to capture gas produced from their drilling operations.

Read more: NDIC Implements New Bakken Flaring Rule – June 1, 2014

The U.S. rig count increased by nine to 1,860 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 320 rigs were targeting natural gas (six less than the previous week) and 1,536 were targeting oil in the U.S. (flat from the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 178 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 169 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 16 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 25 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 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 176 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at 102.85/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $89.44/bbl on June 6th. The WTI-Brent closed up slightly, 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 $4.72/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 60 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 24 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 158 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 17 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 64 60 DANIELS MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 31 32 DAWSON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 29 30 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 23 24 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 6 6 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 RENVILLE ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
BILLINGS 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by Five to 177

EOG CEO Bill Thomas Says There's Not Another Bakken Out There
North Dakota Bakken Three Forks Map

North Dakota Bakken Three Forks Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by five to 177 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 188 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, at the Thirtieth Annual Sanford C. Bernstein Conference on May 29, 2014, EOG Resources CEO Bill Thomas indicated the company doesn’t see another shale play of the same magnitude as the Bakken or Eagle Ford on the horizon. According to Thomas, the Bakken and the Eagle Ford currently produce 75% of all horizontal oil production in the U.S., but he notes the two plays are beginning to mature, and the rate of growth in both plays is beginning to slow.

Read more: Is the Bakken America’s Last Oil Boom?

The U.S. rig count increased by nine to 1,866 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 326 rigs were targeting natural gas (one more than the previous week) and 1,536 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.). 178 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 169 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 188 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 10 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 19 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 16 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased  by five to 177 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by $2 to $102.79/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $90.19/bbl on May 29th. The WTI-Brent closed up slightly, settling at ~$8 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 $4.56/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 64 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:

  • 160 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 2 rigs are 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 69 64 DANIELS MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 31 31 DAWSON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 31 29 FALLON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 21 23 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 VALLEY MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 6 6 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 RENVILLE ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
BILLINGS 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 182

Hess Expects 2014 Net Bakken Production of 80,000 to 90,000 boe/d
Hess' Bakken Acreage Map

Hess’ Bakken Acreage Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 182 rigs running by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 189 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 16 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent news, Hess’ first quarter 2014 Bakken production increased slightly from the fourth quarter, but company official say total Bakken production was curtailed due to the shutdown of the Tioga gas plant. Company officials now say Hess’ Bakken production levels are greater than 80,000 boe/d after work was completed on the Tioga gas plant expansion. The company currently has a 17 rig drilling program in the Bakken with 2014 net production expected to average 80,000 to 90,000 boe/d.

Read moreHess Production To Soar in Bakken By the End of 2014

The U.S. rig count decreased by four to 1,857 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 325 rigs were targeting natural gas (one less than the previous week) and 1,528 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.). 183 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 174 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 189 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 6 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 15 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 16 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 increased by $2 to $104.37/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $90.94/bbl on May 23rd. The WTI-Brent closed up slightly, 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$4.40/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 69 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:

  • 166 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 14 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 2 rigs are 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 69 69 DANIELS MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 32 31 DAWSON MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 30 31 ROOSEVELT MT 0 0
DUNN ND 21 21 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 WIBAUX MT 0 0
FALLON MT 6 6 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 RENVILLE ND 0 0
RICHLAND MT 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
VALLEY MT 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
BILLINGS 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by One to 182

AFPM Study Finds Bakken Crude Meets Current Safety Standards for Current Rail Car Design
Oil Rail Car Image

Crude Oil Rail Car | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by one to 182 rigs running by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 190 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 14 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent news, The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) released findings from a study in May of 2014 that examined the characteristics of Bakken crude oil and the standards required to transport by rail. In their report, the AFPM claims Bakken crude is within the safety standards for current rail car designs, and is comparable to other light crudes. The AFPM said the study found Bakken crudes are within the regulatory limits for pressure, flashpoint, boiling point and corrosivity for use in Department of Transportation (DOT) approved railcars.

Read moreAFPM Study Finds Bakken Crude Meets Current Safety Standards for Rail Car Design

The U.S. rig count increased by 6 to 1,861 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 326 rigs were targeting natural gas (3 more than the previous week) and 1,531 were targeting oil in the U.S. (3 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 182 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 174 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 is 7 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 14 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by one to 182 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by $2 to $102.16/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $88.69/bbl on May 16th. The WTI-Brent remained the same, 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$4.42/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 69 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:

  • 167 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 MT 64 69 DANIELS ND 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 34 32 DAWSON ND 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 31 30 FALLON ND 0 0
DUNN MT 22 21 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
DIVIDE MT 8 9 VALLEY ND 0 0
RICHLAND ND 5 6 GOLDEN VALLEY MT 0 0
BURKE ND 5 5 MCLEAN MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU MT 3 3 MERCER MT 0 0
STARK ND 4 3 RENVILLE ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
WIBAUX ND 1 1 MCHENRY ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

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