Bakken Shale News

Oasis Petroleum Announces 35% Growth

Company Reduces 2015 Capex by 12%
Oasis Petroleum in the Bakken

Oasis Petroleum in the Bakken

Oasis Petroleum announced 2014 results and rolled out updated projections for the new year.

The company increased its net income by 122% from $228.0 million in 2013 to $506.9 million in 2014 and ended the the year with $45.8 million of cash and cash equivalents.

Other 2014 highlights include:

  • Increased average daily production 35% from 2013 to 45,656 Boepd
  • Q4 2014 average daily production of 50,143 Boepd
  • Completed and placed on production 195 gross operated wells during 2014
  • Increased total estimated net proved oil and natural gas reserves by 24%

Related: EOG Reduces 2015 Capex 40 Percent


Bakken Highlights

The following table describes the Company’s producing Bakken and TFS wells by project area in the Williston Basin as of December 31, 2014.

oasis table


Thomas B. Nusz, Oasis’ Chairman and CEO commented, “Capitalizing on our premier position in the Williston Basin, we have grown volumes by over 35% in 2014, including production in the fourth quarter of 2014 of 50,143 Boepd. While we are excited about the strong growth and the potential of our significant inventory position, we have turned our attention to managing the business in light of the current challenging market environment.

2015 Projections

Citing lower commodity prices, Oasis Petroleum announced it will be reducing its 2015 capital spending by 12% over 2014 and expects the total to reach $705 million. Additionally, the company expects to complete 79 gross (63.3 net) operated wells and 2.6 net non-operated wells in 2015.

Read more at 


Whiting to Reduce Bakken Rig Count

Record Production no Match for Low Crude
Whiting Bakken Acreage Map

Whiting Bakken Acreage Map | Click to Enlarge

In its fourth quarter earning report, Whiting Petroleum announced a record 2014 and revealed a 2015 spending plan that includes reducing Bakken rig count.

In spite of low crude prices, Whiting ended the year with a Q4 profit of $58 million with cash flows totalling $419 million. Oil production was at record numbers for both the quarter (up 13%) and the entire year, which averaged 41.8 MMBOE and was up 22% over 2013.

Related: Whiting Bakken Production Hits Record Levels in Second Quarter

In July of 2014, Whiting Petroleum announced plans to acquire Kodiak Oil & Gas for $3.8 billion. The deal made the combined company the largest Bakken/Three Forks producer, unseating Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources from the top spot.

Read more: Whiting Petroleum Acquires Kodiak Oil & Gas – $3.8 Billion

James J. Volker, Whiting’s Chairman, President and CEO, commented, “2014 was a strong year for Whiting. We set records in production, proved reserves and discretionary cash flow. In the wake of our acquisition of Kodiak Oil & Gas, we became the largest Bakken/Three Forks producer in the Williston Basin.Our 2015 capital budget of $2.0 billion reflects a disciplined approach to maintaining our financial strength while preserving our long-term growth plans.”

2015 Spending Plan

Looking to the new year, Whiting plans for the following:

  • Reduce its capital budget to $2 billion
  • $1.8 billion of the 2015 capital budget will go towards exploration and development activity
  • $59 million is allocated for land and $123 million for facilities
  • Production forecast of 59.0 MMBOE, an increase of 42% over 2014
  • Reducing Bakken rig count from 16 to 10
  • Completed well cost in the Bakken will average $7 million, down from $8.5 million in 2014

Read the full report at

Bakken Rigs Count Down to 109

North Dakota to get $1.1 Billion for Infrastructure
Bakken Oil Well

Bakken Oil Well | Click to Enlarge

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by 12 t0 109 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent Bakken news, Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota signed legislation that grants massive emergency funding to counties and cities statewide in order to bolster the lagging infrastructure. The bulk of the money is targeted to fix roadways and bridges that have not been able to keep up with the increased traffic of heavy oil field equipment that the shale boom has brought to the Bakken area.

Read more: Governor Dalrymple Commits to Infrastructure

The U.S. rig count fell another 43 to 1267 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 280 rigs were targeting natural gas (down nine from the previous week) and 986 were targeting oil in the U.S. (33 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 111 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 108 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by 12 t0 109 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by $1.66 from the previous week, trading at $48.84/bbl on Friday afternoon. The WTI-Brent saw an increase decrease of $96 by week’s end, landing at $61.35. Natural gas rigs remained flat with futures trading at $2.71/mmbtu by the end of last week.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 44 rigs running. Williams (21), Mountrail (21) counties are the only other counties with more than 2o rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 109 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 State Previous Week Current Week County State Previous Week Current Week

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

Small Oil Companies Express Optimism

Obama Issues Keystone Pipeline Veto

EOG Reduces 2015 Capex 40 Percent

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.


Governor Dalrymple Commits to Infrastructure

Lawmakers Approve $1.1 Billion for New Roads
Bakken roads

SB 2103 to Fix Critical Infrastructure

Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota signed legislation that grants massive emergency funding to counties and cities statewide in order to bolster the lagging infrastructure.

On Monday, the ND Senate unanimously approved SB 2103 for roads and other critical infrastructure throughout the state with the bulk of the resources allocated to its oil producing counties. The $1.1 billion is in addition to a $2.3 billion infrastructure spending package that is already in place.

The bulk of the money is targeted to fix roadways and bridges that have not been able to keep up with the increased traffic of heavy oil field equipment that the shale boom has brought to the Bakken area. Many of the region’s oil-producing counties still use hundreds of miles of gravel roads as main transportation routes often seeing as many as 1,000 vehicles a day, compared to fewer than 50 before the boom. Lawmakers hope this legislation will improve the infrastructure for what is hopefully another 20- to 25-year production in the play.

Speaking with the Dickenson Press, Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford said, “The traffic flow will be better. It will be safer. So this is really a great investment for public safety.”

Related ND News: No Income Tax for North Dakota?

Senate bill 2103 allocates the nearly $1.1 billion as follows:

  • $450 million for the Department of Transportation
  • 300 million for the state’s top 10 oil-producing counties
  • $140 million for cities within the top 10 oil producing counties
  • $8,750,000 to school districts in oil-producing counties
  • $215 million for hub cities: Williston, Dickinson, Minot and Watford City.
  • $112 million for non-oil-producing counties.
  • $16 million for townships in non-oil-producing counties.

Read the entire bill at

Obama Issues Keystone Pipeline Veto

President Buys More Time to Weigh the Options
Keystone Pipeline Veto

Presidential Seal

The White House issued a press release this week to announce that President Obama has carried out his promise to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. This action allows a final decision to be put on hold until further environmental reviews are complete.

The Keystone pipeline veto is the latest round in a highly political debate that has been raging since 2008, when the TransCanada Corporation first applied for a permit to construct the pipeline. At issue is a proposed 1,179-mile section of the pipeline that would run through the heart of the Bakken Formation in order to deliver 800,000 barrels of petroleum to the refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Related: Keystone Showdown Likely for New Year | Bakken

Related: No Need For Keystone XL – Continental’s CEO Harold Hamm

Since the first of the year, President Obama has hinted at his intentions to veto anything the Republican majority might try to push through. Instead he has urged lawmakers to “pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.” Read more here.

In the official news release, President Obama stated “The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.”

A backlash to the Keystone pipeline veto began almost immediately and accusations towards the President have accelerated, with some decrying his ties to environmental groups. The future of the legislation is unclear, but republican lawmakers are certain to try and override the veto very soon.


photo credit: Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America (license)

Small Oil Companies Express Optimism

Seasoned Oilmen Set to Wait Out the Current Crisis

I recently sat down with Greg Shoemaker, Executive Director for Antares Energy to get his perspective on how his small oil company is weathering the current pricing downturn. Greg has spent over 30 years in the oil and gas business and has experienced the ups and downs of the industry many times.

As oil prices have dropped over the last seven months, many people are wondering when it will end and who will survive. Industry leaders who recently gathered in Houston for the NAPE Summit, expressed optimism and reminded the crowd that this is nothing new. Read more about the 2015 the NAPE conference

Daily news reports announce more cuts and layoffs from big producers, but small oil companies may be the most vulnerable without the additional resources necessary to help them ride out the storm.

Antares Energy Limited is an Australian company focused on oil and gas exploration and development in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Gregory Shoemaker, B.Sc. Geosciences, has been with Antares since October 2009. He is a graduate of The University of Texas and holds memberships in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Houston Geological Society (HGS). Mr. Shoemaker’s experience includes serving as Lead Geoscientist of numerous onshore/offshore international and US exploration projects.

For more information visit

EOG Reduces 2015 Capex 40 Percent

Plans Includes 45% Fewer Bakken Wells
EOG Resources Bakken Acreage Map

EOG Resources Bakken Acreage Map

EOG announced a strong fourth quarter for 2014 and revealed a disciplined 2015 spending plan that leverages their position to get them through the current difficult market. The company gives much of the credit for its success to the outstanding performance from its interests in the Bakken formation in North Dakota.

EOG reported its Q4 net income at $445 million, which stands in sharp contrast to many companies who saw losses as crude prices plummeted through the fall. Overall, 2014 brought a net income of $2,915 million for the company, compared to $2,197 million for 2013.

Related: Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

2015 Capital Plan

As EOG looks to the new year, they expect their capital expenditures to range from $4.9 to $5.1 billion. This number includes projects for production facilities and midstream expenditures and will primarily be directed to EOG’s highest rate-of-return oil assets including the Bakken play. This is a 40 percent reduction compared to 2014 spending and Capital will be allocated

Chairman and CEO, William R. “Bill” Thomas, commented that “EOG delivered both high returns and strong growth in 2014, a unique accomplishment in the energy sector. Our returns-focused capital discipline has been at the core of EOG’s culture since the very beginning. We are confident we will continue to earn healthy returns on our capital program during this commodity down cycle and, more importantly, emerge stronger and poised for significant long-term growth.”

The biggest news for 2015 is that additional development in the Bakken will be put on hold. The company’s plans to utilize existing rigs and complete approximately 45 percent fewer wells in 2015 (25) versus 2014 (59). This tactic will prepares the company to resume strong growth when prices recover.


Marathon Oil Reduces 2015 Spending by Half

Company Will Spend $760 million in the Bakken
Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil in the Bakken

Marathon Oil announced further cuts to its 2015 capital spending plan, reducing numbers another 20 percent from their initial December forecast. This represents a total capex that is less than half of last year’s budget. The company will continue to focus spending on its shale resources and will reduce exploration spending by more than half.

Bakken Highlights

Marathon reports that its Bakken production increased 38% from 2013. This number includes 17 gross operated Bakken wells to sales, with 15 piloted enhanced completions. 18 pilot completion wells averaging greater than 30% uplift in cumulative production over the first 60 days. For 2015, Marathon’s operations in the Bakken will receive a $760 million piece of the pie, which represents 22% of the company’s total budget and includes approximately $550 million for drilling, completions and recompletions.

President and CEO Lee Tillman noted that “Nearly 70 percent of our 2015 capital spending will be directed toward our three core U.S. resource plays, which continue to be among our highest-return investment opportunities. This budget reflects an emphasis on investment selectivity, balance sheet flexibility and positioning for price recovery.” He added, “Though our U.S. resource plays generate competitive returns at current pricing, we’re taking action to materially reduce our 2015 capital program relative to 2014 to protect our financial flexibility.

Marathon in the Bakken Formation

The North Dakota Bakken Shale oil play is top investment priority for Marathon Oil, where they have approximately 370,000 acres across North Dakota and Montana.

Marathon News: Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

Marathon News: Enbridge’s Sandpiper Pipeline Gains Anchor Shipper in Marathon Petroleum – Open Season


Record Production for Bakken

EIA Reports Oil Inventories Exceed Demand
Record Productivity in Bakken

EIA Reports Record Productivity in Bakken

Despite declining rig counts across the country, oil production remains at record levels and is currently exceeding demand.

Related: Bakken-Three Forks rig count

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), US oil production hit a record 9,226,000 barrels per day last week, with production from the Bakken formation up to an average of 1.2 million barrels a day, a 28% year-over-year increase.

This record production is contributing to an international surplus and keeping crude prices low. It is estimated that oil supply is exceeding demand by over one million bbl/d in the global market.Inventories for U.S. commercial crude oil increased by 4.9 million barrels this week.  At 417.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at the highest level for this time of year in at least the last 80 years. Consumption grew by 0.9 million bbl/d in 2014, averaging 92.1 million bbl/d for the year. EIA predicts global consumption to grow by 1.0 million bbl/d in both 2015 and 2016 and global oil inventories to continue to build in 2015.

CNBC recently reported that, “The decline in the US rig count likely remains well short of the level required to slow US shale oil production to levels consistent with a balanced global market. Lower oil price will be required over the coming quarters to see the US production growth slowdown materializes.”

Read more about record production numbers at

Kinder Morgan Acquires Hiland

$3 Million Deal Moves Company into Bakken
Hamm sells Hiland

Contenental Resources CEO, Harold Hamm

Kinder Morgan announced last week that it finalized the acquisition of Hiland Partners, a midstream firm founded by Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources. The deal, reported at $3 billion, includes assuming almost $1 billion in debt.

Hiland primarily serves production from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana and by operating crude oil gathering/transportation pipelines and gas gathering/processing systems including roughly 1,225 miles of pipeline. Company officials anticipate retaining nearly all of Hiland’s approximately 430 employees.

“We are delighted to establish a substantial midstream footprint in one of the most prolific oil producing basins in the United States,” said KMI Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder. “Hiland’s systems serve some of the Bakken’s largest and most successful producers, including Continental. We look forward to continuing to provide high quality midstream services to these producers and pursuing incremental growth opportunities in the basin.”

Harold Hamm began contemplating the sale due to financial worries stemming from plummeting oil prices and a very public, and expensive divorce. Hamm reportedly sold the interest in order to gain the necessary cash for a $1 billion divorce settlement, one of the largest divorce tabs ever recorded. This acquisition is on the heels of a personal loan in December at the same time the company slashed its 2015 capex for the second time.

Related: More Budget Cuts for Continental Resources

For more visit