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).
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
- North Dakota Breaks Records for Oil & Gas Activity
- How the Keystone XL Pipeline Would Impact the Bakken
Bakken Drilling by County
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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.