Bakken Shale News

Bakken Rig Count Increases

New Drilling Buffer Zones Proposed
Bakken Rig Count Climbs

Bakken Rig Count Climbs

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased this week to 76 rigs running across our coverage area.

In recent Bakken news, Montana’s  Board of Oil and Gas Conservation is considering a proposal that will require buffers zones around homes to protect them from oil and gas drilling.

Read more:Dakota Access Pipeline Concerns

The U.S. rig count increased slightly, ending with 862 rigs running by midday Thursday.  A total of 219 rigs were targeting natural gas (nine less than the previous week) and 640 were targeting oil in the U.S. (12 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)   76 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs increased to 75 rigs this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $56.72/bbl on Friday morning, a $2.91 decrease from the previous week. WTI-Brent decreased $1.41 landing to $61.85. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures dropping to $2.71/mmbtu.

McKenzie County continues to lead development and is running 3o running this week, while Williams increased to 18 and Mountrail stayed flat at 11. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 73 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 2 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 Wk Current Wk County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 30 30 ROOSEVELT MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 17 18 RICHLAND MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 11 11 MERCER ND 0 0
DUNN ND 10 10 MCHENRY ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 0 1 FALLON MT 0 0
STARK ND 0 1 DAWSON MT 0 0
RENVILLE ND 1 1 DANIELS MT 0 0
MCLEAN ND 1 1 BURKE ND 0 0
WARD ND 0 0 BOTTINEAU ND 0 0
VALLEY MT 0 0 BILLINGS ND 0 0
SHERIDAN MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas News

New York Bans Fracking

WPX Plans to Increase Bakken Activity

Two Saltwater Leaks in North Dakota

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


WPX Plans to Increase Bakken Activity

Company Will Resume Well Completions
WPX Energy Rockies Asset Map

WPX Energy Rockies Asset Map | Click to Enlarge

WPX Energy announced this week they plan to increase activity in their Williston operations during the second half of the year.

Related: Shale Oil: Sky’s the Limit

WPX currently has an inventory of 14 Williston wells awaiting completion and the company will resume completions in August, starting with a four-well pad.

Since the fourth quarter of 2014, many companies pulled back oil rigs as crude prices declined. WPX will be the first to approve more rigs in the play since prices have stabilized. The company credits significant process improvements, structural changes to lower costs and successful discussions with key vendors as key to this decision to move forward.

“The combination of cost reductions and higher EURs gives us the opportunity to generate returns in excess of 30 percent in today’s commodity price environment,” says Rick Muncrief, president and chief executive officer.

WPX Highlights:

  • Drilling and completion costs in the basin approaching $8 million per well (decrease of more than 30%)
  • A blended type curve of approximately 750 Mboe for wells in the Middle Bakken and Three Forks formations, up 25%
  • Completion modifications include moving toward a higher intensity slick-water design targeting the potential to increase initial production rates and EURs even further.
  • Total planned capital investments for full-year 2015 remain in line with the company’s previous guidance of staying within its projected operating cash flow

Read more at wpxenergy.com


Montana Considers Drilling Buffer

Environmentalists Ask for 1/4 Mile Setbacks
North Dakota Developments, LLC

Montana Considering Drilling Buffers

Montana’s  Board of Oil and Gas Conservation is considering a proposal that will require buffers zones around homes to protect them from oil and gas drilling.

Related: Dakota Access Pipeline Concerns

The board heard almost two hours of testimony last week from farmers, environmentalists and oil companies who all wanted a say in whether setbacks are necessary. Many raised concerns about wastewater dangers, noise and trash that from active wells pads.

Dale Nelson told local news agency that “The toxic smoke that comes out with a fire, there’s nothing you can do with it,” Nelson said. “Do you want your grandkids around something like that?”

The Northern Plains Resource Council is asking for a quarter-mile setback between well pads and inhabited buildings. This is much greater than the 500 feet required by neighboring states of North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

Montana joins other local and state agencies faced with figuring out how to regulate drilling activities in light of health and environmental concerns. Recently the EPA released a controversial study saying that hydraulic fracking has very little impact on drinking water resources.

EPA Finds Little Risk to Drinking Water from Fracking

Read more at dnrc.mt.gov


Bakken Rig Count at 73

Dakota Access Pipeline Moves Forward
Bakken Rig Count Decreases

Bakken Rig Count Decreases

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased this week to 73 rigs running across our coverage area.

In recent Bakken news, Energy Transfer Pipeline is moving forward with plans to build a massive 1.134 mile pipeline that will transport crude from the Bakken through South Dakota and into Patoka, Illinois amid public concerns.

Read more:Dakota Access Pipeline Concerns

The U.S. rig count increased slightly, ending with 859 rigs running by midday Friday.  A total of 228 rigs were targeting natural gas (five more the previous week) and 628 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.)  74 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs fell to 73 rigs this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $59.63/bbl on Friday afternoon, a $.02 decrease from the previous week. WTI-Brent increased $.24 landing to $63.26. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures dropping to $2.77/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County continues to lead development and is running 3o running this week. Williams stays at 18, but Mountrail loses two rigs to 11. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 72 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 1 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

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Two Saltwater Leaks in North Dakota

Turning Drilling Waste into Roads

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


Two Saltwater Leaks in North Dakota

Health Department Investigating Impact on Wetland
Spill Threatens Wetland

Spill Threatens Wetland

Two separate saltwater spills in North Dakota this week have health officials scrambling to assess the damage and monitor the environmental impact of nearby wetlands.

 

News agencies from across the state reported that 50 barrels of brine were spilled at a site in Burke County owned by Petro Harvester Operating Company in Burke County. Company officials also indicated they believe that the damage might not have been an accident.

Karl Rockeman, head of the NDDoH division of water quality said “The company believes someone damaged the pump jack at the well head. They’re alleging that it was intentional.”

A second unrelated spill was reported by Condor Petroleum, Inc. in Divide COunty and involved one barrel of oil and 39 barrels of brine were spilled. NDDoH officials are evaluating a nearby wetland for water quality impacts. Health department officials report that a some saltwater reached a nearby wetland and they promised to work with the company to develop a remediation plan for the impacted site.

Wasterwater disposal has become a hot topic as hydraulic fracturing has increased over the last few years. After drilling, the wastewater is cleaned and then pumped deep into injection wells. The potential risks of this practice are still unknown but are commonly connected to increased earthquakes, water contamination and danger to the ecosystem.

Related: Wastewater Disposal to Continue


Dakota Access Pipeline Concerns

Energy Transfer Partners: Questionable Negotiating Tactics?
Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Energy Transfer Pipeline is moving forward with plans to build a massive 1.134 mile pipeline that will transport crude from the Bakken through South Dakota and into Patoka, Illinois amid public concerns.

Related: Two New Bakken Crude Oil Pipelines Online by 2016

Energy Transfer Partners moved one step closer this week as officials from the McKenzie County Commission approved zoning for  the first of six terminals it will need for the project. Along with permission to move ahead the company also received vigorous opposition and criticism from landowners who see the company as arrogant.

According to the Tri-City Herald, “Commissioner Kathy Skarda that said she has received numerous phone calls from landowners upset about the company’s negotiating style.”

Last week, more than 80 people turned out  for a public hearing in Killdeer to express their concerns to the Public Service Commission. This was the second of three such hearings while PSC officials decide if they will grant permits for the project. The concerns ranged from people not being offered enough money for their easements to the fear of security issues resulting from much energy infrastructure being clustered together.

Once the project is complete in late 2016, the pipeline will transport approximately 450,000 barrels per day and could potentially represent approximately half of Bakken current daily crude oil production.


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