Bakken Rig Count – 175 – Nearly Half of Halcon Budget Targeting Bakken

Bakken Rig Count Stays Flat this Week at 175
Halcon Bakken Acreage Map

Halcon Bakken Acreage Map | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 175 rigs running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 192 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, Halcon anticipates spending approximately 49% of its total drilling and completions budget in the Williston Basin in 2014. Based on previous budget estimates, that’s about ~475 million.

Read moreNearly Half of Halcon 2014 Budget Targeting Bakken – ~$475 Million

The U.S. rig count increased by 23 to 1,792 running over the past week. A total of 345 rigs are targeting natural gas (10 more than last week) and 1,443 are targeting oil in the U.S. (13 more than last week). The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 177 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD, increasing by one rig from last week.

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 15 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area. 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 13 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs increased by 2 rigs running over the past week. WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat at ~$100/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $84.19/bbl on March 7th. The WTI-Brent remain about the same from last week, settling at ~$8 by the end of the week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading around ~$4.60/mmbtu by the end of the 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 55 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams 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:

  • 160 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 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 56 55 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 33 35 DANIELS MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 30 30 DAWSON MT 0 0
DUNN ND 26 26 FALLON MT 1 0
DIVIDE ND 9 9 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 6 6 VALLEY MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 WIBAUX MT 0 0
STARK ND 3 3 MCLEAN ND 0 0
BILLINGS ND 2 2 MERCER ND 0 0
BURKE ND 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 2 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT 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 and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

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Kirk Eggleston

Kirk Eggleston

Contributor at BakkenShale.com
Kirk Eggleston writes on significant news developments in the Bakken and Eagle Ford Shale plays. He is a former broadcast journalist, and has experience covering news and politics in the Texas and Louisiana markets.

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