Bakken Shale News

Bakken Shale Rig Count Decreases by Four to 188

North Dakota Posts Records for Oil & Gas Activity in Sept. 14' as Rig Count Drops Due to Falling Oil Prices
Bakken Oil Workers

Bakken Oil Workers | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by four t0 188 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 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, North Dakota hit 1,184,635 b/d oil in September 2014, setting a new record, according to the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR) November Director’s Cut. That’s 50,000 more b/d than August. During the same month, North Dakota also had record monthly gas production (1,403,448 mcf/d), and reported the highest number of producing wells to date (11,741).

Read more: North Dakota Breaks Records for Oil & Gas Activity

The U.S. rig count increased by one to 1,929 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 355 rigs were targeting natural gas (five more than the previous week) and 1,574 were targeting oil in the U.S. (four 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. 177 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 figure is four more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 15 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 four to 187 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices increased by ~$.40 from the previous week, trading at $76.35/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $60.19/bbl on November 21st. The WTI-Brent opened up a bit, 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 $4.05/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 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 173 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 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 61 66 MCLEAN ND 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 43 40 RENVILLE ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 29 29 STARK ND 2 1
DUNN ND 28 26 MCHENRY ND 0 1
RICHLAND MT 5 6 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 7 5 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 VALLEY MT 0 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 2 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 3 2 MERCER ND 0 0
DAWSON MT 1 1 WARD ND 0 0
FALLON MT 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.

North Dakota Breaks Records for Oil & Gas Activity – Sep. 2014

DMR: Bakken Rig Count Down Due to Lower Oil Prices
Bakken Oil Workers

Bakken Oil Workers | Click to Enlarge

The State of North Dakota hit 1,184,635 b/d oil in September 2014, setting a new record, according to the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR) November Director’s Cut. That’s 50,000 more b/d than August. During the same month, North Dakota also had record monthly gas production (1,403,448 mcf/d), and reported the highest number of producing wells to date (11,741).

But this month, the state’s record breaking oil and gas activity is overshadowed by falling crude oil prices. September was a relatively good month for oil at ~93.00 on average for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), but prices have dropped nearly ~$20 in the last two months.

According to the DMR’s report, released on November 14, 2014, the current rig count is down 15% in the states five most active counties:

  • Divide – down 54%
  • Dunn – down 29%
  • McKenzie – down 4%
  • Mountrail – down 24%
  • Williams- down 19%

DMR Director Lynn Helms blames the recent drop in the Bakken rig count directly on lower oil prices. The cost of drilling a Bakken well is high – anywhere between $8-million to $9-million. If the price of oil continues to fall, some producers, depending on their location in the play and a host of other factors, will scale back their Bakken drilling programs.

Read more: Bakken Study Analyzes Impact of Oil Prices on Development

Flaring Down in North Dakota Bakken

The natural gas flaring rate dropped from 27% in August to 24% in September. By comparison, the highest flared percent of natural gas was 36% in September of 2011.

New regulations have called for producers to reduce flaring to below 26%, starting with their October production figures. Helms recently pointed out that in addition to lower oil prices, flaring regulations could also impact Bakken development, because producers may face production restrictions if they fail to meet the new standards.

Beginning on June 1st, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) began implementing its first in a series of policy changes aimed at reducing flaring in the Bakken.

Read more: NDIC Implements New Bakken Flaring Rule

Seismic Activity Up in North Dakota Bakken, But Leasing is Down

Seismic activity is up with seven surveys active or recording and five permitted. New leasing on the other hand has dropped off sharply. Most leases consist of renewals and top leases in the Bakken – Three Forks area.

How the Keystone XL Pipeline Would Impact the Bakken

Senate Votes Today On Bill to Approve Controversial Pipeline
Pipeline Photo

Pipeline Construction | Click to Enlarge

The Senate will vote today on a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, after the House voted to approve it last Friday. The controversial pipeline would carry heavy oil sands crude from Canada and lighter Bakken crude to the Gulf Coast refining market.

In 2013, the Congressional Research Service released a report that stated 12% of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s 830,000 b/d ultimate capacity has been set aside for the transport of Bakken Crude. The report further said the Keystone XL pipeline project would include a lateral pipeline, called the Bakken Marketlink, to carry oil from Baker, MT, to the hub in Cushing, OK.

Although the Keystone XL Pipeline would play a role in the Bakken, its significance in the region has diminished slightly over time. Despite a still lacking midstream infrastructure in the Bakken, several pipeline projects have advanced as the political thunderstorm has ensued surrounding the Keystone XL Pipeline.

In September of 2013, Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, the Bakken’s second largest producer, said the Keystone XL pipeline was no longer critical in an interview with Amy Harder from the National Journal. For full disclosure, at the time of the interview, Hamm’s Hiland Partners was pushing its Double H Pipeline, a 460-mile pipeline project from Dore, ND, to Guernsey, WY., which is slated to be online by January of 2015.

Read more: No Need for Keystone XL – Continental’s CEO Harold Hamm

Political Sway for the Keystone XL Pipeline

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) is the Senate bill’s chief sponsor. Hoeven has pushed for the pipeline for several years, and touts its benefits (i.e. an increase in jobs, energy security and a decrease in crude by rail transport).

“The Keystone XL pipeline is about energy, jobs, helping to grow our economy and increasing national security by increasing energy security,” Hoeven said in a prepared statement.

Keystone Pipeline Could Alleviate Rail Congestion from Bakken Crude

Currently, just under 70% of all the oil produced in North Dakota, where much of the Bakken’s development is concentrated, is transported out of the state by rail, ultimately making its way for now to refining markets, primarily on the East and West Coasts. The Keystone XL Pipeline could alleviate some of the rail congestion being caused by the transport of oil, which would free up the rail service in North Dakota and across the midwest for the transport of other goods, primarily agricultural.

Bakken Shale Rig Stays Flat at 192

Could Drones be Coming to the Bakken Oil Patch?
Drone

Drone Image, Courtesy CSIRO

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 192 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 184 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, the Federal Aviation Administration and six other states, including Texas, home of the Eagle Ford Shale, have recently been selected as test sites for integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV) or drones into the general population, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

With the green light from the FAA for testing in North Dakota, which for now is limited to agricultural applications, the next step could be in the Bakken oil patch.

Read more: Drones Coming to the Bakken Oil Patch?

The U.S. rig count increased by three to 1,928 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 350 rigs were targeting natural gas (six less than the previous week) and 1,578 were targeting oil in the U.S. (10 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 193 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 181 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 184 rigs are active in North Dakota. That figure is nine less than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, but 3 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 14 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 192 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$3 from the previous week, trading at $75.97/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $59.44/bbl on Nov. 14th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at just over $3.50 by the end of last week.

One natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $4.06/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 61 rigs running. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 28 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 248 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 9 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 8 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 61 61 DAWSON MT 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 43 43 MCLEAN ND 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 28 29 RENVILLE ND 1 1
DUNN ND 29 28 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 7 7 SHERIDAN MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 5 5 VALLEY MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
BURKE ND 3 3 WARD ND 0 0
FALLON MT 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.

Drones Coming to the Bakken Oil Patch?

Application of Drone Technology in the Oil Patch Could be Used for Inspecting Pipelines and Detecting Deadly H2S Gas
Drone

Drone Image, Courtesy CSIRO

Could drones be coming to the Bakken oil patch? It’s not such a far fetched idea. According to the Bismarck Tribune, the Federal Aviation Administration and six other states, including Texas, home of the Eagle Ford Shale, have recently been selected as test sites for integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV) or drones into the general population.

Modern drone technology can trace its origins back to the U.S. military in the late 1950s, but the concept of drones has been around since the 1800s. The commercial use of drones has been met largely with resistance from the FAA, however, the agency did grant ConocoPhillips permission to use drones in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oilfield, and in June of this year, granted a similar permission to British Petroleum.

How Drone Technology Could Be Used in the Oil Patch

With the green light from the FAA for testing in North Dakota, which for now is limited to agricultural applications, the next step could be in the Bakken oil patch. Only time will tell however if the technology will be approved for applications in North Dakota’s energy industry.

Drone technology offers many possibilities for the oil & gas industry, with a range of applications, from testing for deadly H2S gas to inspecting miles and miles of pipeline. Increased safety for personnel and cost savings to companies are just some of the positives offered by drone technology. Drones could also be used in the Bakken for inspecting roads, tank batteries, and monitoring activity at the drill-site.

As with any new technology, there are always concerns, and drones in particular have garnered their fair share of scrutiny on the issue of privacy. What issues do you believe drone technology would cause if introduced to the Bakken oil patch?

Hess Increases Bakken Production Guidance Through 2020

Q3 Production Up by 21% to 86,000 boe/d
Hess Corp. Bakken Spacing Pilot

Hess Corp. Bakken Spacing Pilot

Hess Corp., one of the top five Bakken producers, appears to be undeterred by lower oil prices, announcing plans to increase its five year production forecast this week.

After a successful Bakken downspacing pilot program in 2014, Hess told investors it would increase its net peak production guidance in the play to ~175,000 boe/d by 2020. The increase means the company would add an additional 1,000 well locations to a total of more than 4,000.

“Even at current prices, or below, there’s still many areas for attractive investment in the Bakken,” said CEO John Hess the company’s annual investor day on Monday.

Hess told investors that he believes prices will rebound, and also pointed to drilling efficiency gains made in the Bakken that reduce the cost of drilling a Bakken well.

Hess’ Tioga Gas Plant Expansion Project Paying Off

At the beginning of the year, poor weather conditions delayed work on Hess’ Tioga gas plant expansion project, negatively impacting Bakken production in the first-quarter. By the second-quarter, production returned to expected levels, and at the end of the third-quarter production from the Bakken increased 21% year-over-year to 86,000 boe/d, due in part to the completion of the expansion project.

Read more: Hess Production To Soar in the Bakken By the End of 2014

Hess’ Q3 Bakken Operations

Hess brought 59 gross operated wells on production in the third-quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to 142 wells. Drilling and completion costs per operated well averaged $7.2 million in the third-quarter of 2014, a reduction of 8% from the third-quarter of 2013.

Read more at hess.com

Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by One to 192

Magnum Hunter Resources Sells Large Chunk of Bakken Acreage - $84.7-Million
Magnum Hunter Resources' Bakken Acreage Map

Magnum Hunter Resources’ Bakken Acreage Map|Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by one to 192 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 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, Houston, TX-based Magnum Hunter Resources sold a large chunk of its Bakken acreage for $84.7-million to an undisclosed buyer.

The deal, which closed in mid October of this year, included non-operated working interests in ~105,661 gross (12,500 net) leasehold acres in Divide County, ND. The divested properties currently account for net average production of ~720 boe/d.

Read moreMagnum Hunter Sells Bakken Acreage – $84.7-Million

The U.S. rig count decreased by four to 1,925 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 356 rigs were targeting natural gas (ten more than the previous week) and 1,568 were targeting oil in the U.S. (14 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 193 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 181 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 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is the same number Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, but 12 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$1.50 from the previous week, trading at $78.95/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $59.44/bbl on Nov. 7th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at just over $4.50 by the end of last week.

For the first time in several months, one natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $4.46/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 61 rigs running. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 28 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 177 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 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 62 61 DAWSON MT 1 1
WILLIAMS ND 40 43 MCLEAN ND 1 1
DUNN ND 29 29 RENVILLE ND 2 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 28 28 DANIELS MT 0 0
DIVIDE ND 8 7 SHERIDAN MT 1 0
RICHLAND MT 4 5 VALLEY MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 2 3 MERCER ND 0 0
BURKE ND 3 3 WARD ND 0 0
FALLON MT 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.

Emerald Oil May Scale Back Bakken Drilling Program in Q1 2015

Rig Contract Expires March 15, 2015
Emerald Oil Bakken Acreage Map

Emerald Oil Bakken Acreage Map|Click to Enlarge

Emerald Oil, Inc. could cut its Bakken drilling program the first quarter of next year if the price of oil continues to drop. Emerald’s CEO McAndrew Rudisill announced the company’s plans in a conference call for investors this week.

With WTI now below $80, we could see the first shoes begin to drop among some Bakken producers. According to the consultancy Wood Mackenzie, breakeven oil prices range from $60 to $80 per barrel in North Dakota’s Bakken.

Emerald’s current three-rig drilling program is slated to continue in the Bakken through the end of the year, but the contract for one of its rigs expires in the first quarter of next year (March 15, 2015), and the company may not renew it.

According to Rudisill, the company’s decision will be determined largely by what is happening with WTI crude oil price.”We have to respond to large changes in the price of crude oil, said Rudisill. We will make a decision in the middle of March 2015 on whether or not to lay down the third rig.”

During the third-quarter of 2014, Emerald increased its production 3% quarter-on-quarter to 3,855 boe/d, and during the fourth-quarter, the company expects to produce 4,300 boe/d. The company missed its production guidance for the third quarter by 8%, citing mandated North Dakota road shutdowns due to poor weather conditions. Guidance was also reduced 6.5% for the fourth-quarter because of down-time expected from artificial lift installations, which were originally scheduled for the third quarter.

Emerald’s capital budget for 2015 is $210 – $240-million.

Read more at emeraldoil.com

Magnum Hunter Sells Bakken Acreage – $84.7-Million

Deal Includes 12,500 Net Acres in Divide County, ND
Magnum Hunter Resources' Bakken Acreage Map

Magnum Hunter Resources’ Bakken Acreage Map|Click to Enlarge

Houston, TX-based Magnum Hunter Resources has sold a large chunk of its Bakken acreage for $84.7-million to an undisclosed buyer.

The deal, which closed in mid October of this year, included non-operated working interests in ~105,661 gross (12,500 net) leasehold acres in Divide County, ND. The divested properties currently account for net average production of ~720 boe/d.

In a prepared statement, CEO Gary Evans described the sold Bakken assets as non-core. “Our remaining portfolio of assets located in North Dakota consists of 151 gross producing wells covering approximately 159,916 gross (73,690 net) acres, said Evans. Total net production to the Company from these remaining assets is currently approximately 2,577 boe/d at present with another ~800 boe/d anticipated to be put on production prior to year-end from this region.”

According to company officials, total divestitures, including this one, have amounted to $210-million across Magnum Hunter’s portfolio so far in 2014. In the second quarter of 2013, the company sold 19,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford to Penn Virginia for approximately $400-million. The deal was for the majority of the company’s Eagle Ford holdings.

Read more: Magnum Hunter Resources Completes Sale to PVA – Still Targeting Eagle Ford & Pearsall

Magnum Hunter’s divestment strategy is designed to shift the company’s focus to growth in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale in West Virginia and Ohio.

Read more at magnumhunterresources.com

Bakken Shale Rig Count Stays Flat at 191

Two New Bakken Crude Oil Pipelines Slated to be Online by 2016
Pipeline Construction

Pipeline Construction | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 191 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 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, Dallas, TX-based Energy Transfer Partners announced a joint venture with Houston-based Phillips 66 at the end of October, 2014, to build two pipelines that will move crude oil out of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale field.

Energy Transfer Partners will have a 75% interest in the pipelines. Phillips 66 will have a 25% interest, and will pay a proportionate cost of the construction. Both the “Dakota Access Pipeline” and “Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline” are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.

Read more: Two New Bakken Crude Oil Pipelines Online by 2016

The U.S. rig count increased by two to 1,929 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 346 rigs were targeting natural gas (fourteen more than the previous week) and 1,582 were targeting oil in the U.S. (13 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 192 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 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is one more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, and 13 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$.60 from the previous week, trading at $80.58/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $62.69bbl on Oct. 31st. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at just over $5 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 $3.88/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. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 174 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 4 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 62 STARK ND 2 2
WILLIAMS ND 40 40 DAWSON MT 1 1
DUNN ND 29 29 SHERIDAN MT 1 1
MOUNTRAIL ND 28 28 MCLEAN ND 1 1
DIVIDE ND 8 8 DANIELS MT 0 0
RICHLAND MT 4 4 VALLEY MT 0 0
ROOSEVELT MT 3 3 WIBAUX MT 0 0
BILLINGS ND 3 3 GOLDEN VALLEY ND 0 0
BURKE ND 3 3 MERCER ND 0 0
FALLON MT 2 2 WARD ND 0 0
BOTTINEAU ND 3 2 MCHENRY ND 0 0
RENVILLE ND 1 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.

MENU