Bakken Shale News

New Regulations For Bakken Housing

Commissioners Stop Short of Bans
Temporary Housing in Bakken

Temporary Housing in Bakken

Williams County commissioners adopted new regulations that will significantly limit the availability of temporary housing that serves in North Dakota’s oil fields.

Related: Will Bakken Man Camps Disappear?

Temporary housing has peppered the landscape since 2008, providing a crucial way to house the droves of workers who have migrated to the Bakken oil fields. When the influx of workers outstripped available housing, new crew camps, RV/trailer parks and modular homes quickly sprang up to meet the need.

Last week the commission voted to adopt the new guidelines that put restrictions on new or renewed applications for temporary housing. Commissioners stopped short of a full ban fearing that might increase apartment and permanent housing costs.

Mike Sizemore, director of Development Services said “This was an effort to try and put something together to work. It’s hard to come up with a policy that was cut and dry because none of these are the same.”

Recently, the SEC has frozen the assets of North Dakota Developments, LLC (“NDD”) and its principles, claiming they defrauded over 980 investors from 66 different countries to build Bakken housing projects that were never finished.

Bakken Man Camps Center of Ponzi-Type Scheme


Bakken Rig Count at 69

More Layoff in the Region Reported
ND Pump Jack Photo

ND Pump Jack | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased this week to 69 rigs running across our coverage area.

In recent Bakken news, a North Dakota railcar and logistics facility laid off 10% of its full time employees this week. Company sources blame the layoffs on decreased demand for railcars to transport Bakken crude oil.

Read more: Savage Services Cuts Jobs in Bakken

The U.S. rig count increased by 19, ending with 876 rigs running by midday Friday.  A total of 216 rigs were targeting natural gas (two less than the previous week) and 659 were targeting oil in the U.S. (21 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)  69 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs increased to 69 rigs this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $48.13/bbl on Friday afternoon, a $2.72 decrease from the previous week. WTI-Brent decreased $2.41 landing to $54.7. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures increasing to $2.78/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County continues to lead development and is running 27 running this week, while Williams (14) and Mountrail (12) followed behind. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 69 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 ST Previous Wk Current Wk County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 27 26 ROOSEVELT MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 14 17 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 12 11 VALLEY MT 0 0
DUNN ND 9 9 BILLINGS ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 BOTTINEAU ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 1 1 BURKE ND 0 0
MCLEAN ND 1 1 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
STARK ND 1 1 MERCER ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 RENVILLE ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
FALLON MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
RICHLAND MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Fracking Linked to Drop-Out Rates

Bakken Train Derailment

Federal Fracking Rule on Hold

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 Train Derailment

Accident Leaks 35,000 Barrels of Crude
Crude by Rail

Crude by Rail

Another Bakken train derailment leaves a mess in rural northeastern Montana

Related: Bakken Oil Train Derails

Last Friday, 22 train cars from a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF)  train derailed causing an evacuation of residents in nearby homes and in a Bakken man camp. Officials said the train was headed to Anacortes, Washington and derailed about 5 miles east of the small town of Culbertson, near the North Dakota border.

35,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from four of the derailed cars, but officials there was no immediate evidence that any crude reached a waterway.

The Department of Transportation issued an emergency order in May that requires certain crude by rail trains to slow down in high threat areas. But speed doesn’t seem to be a factor in the latest crash. After investigating Thursday’s crash, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration revealed that the train was only traveling at 44 mph.

This was the sixth such train accident in the Bakken since the beginning of he year. Other crashes include:

  • 2/17/15: WV derailment carries Bakken crude 
  • 2/14/15 Train carrying crude oil derails in Canada
  • 3/6/15: Oil train carrying Bakken crude explodes in Illinois 
  • 3/7/15 Train carrying crude oil derails in Canada 
  • 3/8/15: Train carrying crude oil derails in northern Ontario
  • 5/6/15: Train carrying Bakken crude derails near Heimdal, North Dakota

Bakken Rig Count Drops to 68

North Dakota Fights Federal Fracking Rule
Bakken Rig Count Drops

Bakken Rig Count Drops

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased this week to 68 rigs running across our coverage area.

In recent Bakken news, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl delayed the new federal fracking rule, which was to go into effect last week. The permitting of oil and gas wells on federal land will proceed under current regulations until July 22nd.

Read more: North Dakota Fights Fracking Rule

The U.S. rig count decreased by six, ending with 857 rigs running by midday Friday.  A total of 218 rigs were targeting natural gas (one more than the previous week) and 638 were targeting oil in the U.S. (seven less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)   68 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs decreased to 68 rigs this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $50.85/bbl on Friday afternoon, a $1.89 decrease from the previous week. WTI-Brent decreased $1.62 landing to $57.11. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures increasing to $2.88/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County continues to lead development and is running 27 running this week, while Williams dropped to 14 and Mountrail stayed flat at 12. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 68 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 ST Previous Wk Current Wk County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 29 27 ROOSEVELT MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 15 14 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 12 12 VALLEY MT 0 0
DUNN ND 9 9 BILLINGS ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 BOTTINEAU ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 1 1 BURKE ND 0 0
MCLEAN ND 1 1 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
STARK ND 0 1 MERCER ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 RENVILLE ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
FALLON MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
RICHLAND MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas Bankruptcies Likely to Increase

U.S. Oil Production Has Peaked

Savage Services Cuts Jobs in Bakken

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


Savage Services Cuts Jobs in Bakken

Company Lays Off 10% of its Workforce
More Oilfield Layoffs

More Oilfield Layoffs

Savage Services Corp, a North Dakota railcar and logistics facility, laid off 10% of its full time employees this week. Savage is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the region and employed 118 people before this layoff.

Company sources blame the layoffs on decreased demand for railcars to transport Bakken crude oil, saying that as pipeline construction has increased, the demand for railcars is the lowest it has been in three years. This is contrary to other data about the prevalence of transporting crude oil by rail. In May, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest  data for crude by rail across the country that shows a 1700% increase over the last five years.

Related: Crude by Rail Up 1700%

It has been almost two years since Savage announced the expansion of the Bakken Petroleum Services Hub in Trenton, ND as a result of its acquisition of Ft. Worth Pipe. The new terminal added oil country tubular goods (OCTG) storage, transloading, trucking, threading, inspection and clean and drift services for oil and gas producers in the Williston Basin.

Since crude prices plunged last year, oil company executives are working to cut costs wherever they can, but tightening the belt doesn’t necessarily mean more layoffs. Over the next two years, the majority of the oil and gas executives (76%) expect to see their organizations’ ranks to  increase or stay the same over the next two years. Read more here.


Bakken Oil Rigs Dip Below 70

Montana Proposes Buffer Zones
Bakken Rig Count Drops

Bakken Rig Count Drops

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased this week to 70 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: Montana Considers Drilling Buffer

The U.S. rig count increased slightly, ending with 863 rigs running by midday Friday.  A total of 217 rigs were targeting natural gas (two less than the previous week) and 645 were targeting oil in the U.S. (five more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)   70 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs decreased to 69 rigs this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $52.74/bbl on Friday afternoon, a $3.98 decrease from the previous week. WTI-Brent decreased $3.12 landing to $58.73. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures increasing to $2.77/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County continues to lead development and is running 29 running this week, while Williams dropped to 15 and Mountrail increased 12. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 69 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 Wk Current Wk County State Previous Week Current Week
MCKENZIE ND 30 29 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
WILLIAMS ND 18 15 VALLEY MT 0 0
MOUNTRAIL ND 11 12 BILLINGS ND 0 0
DUNN ND 10 9 BOTTINEAU ND 0 0
DIVIDE ND 3 3 BURKE ND 0 0
WIBAUX MT 1 1 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
MCLEAN ND 1 1 MERCER ND 0 0
DANIELS MT 0 0 RENVILLE ND 1 0
DAWSON MT 0 0 STARK ND 1 0
FALLON MT 0 0 WARD ND 0 0
RICHLAND MT 0 0 MCHENRY ND 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 0 0

Bakken Oil & Gas News

North Dakota Fights Fracking Rule

WPX Plans to Increase Bakken Activity

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


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