Bakken On Auto-Pilot With 180 Rigs Running

Rigs working in the Bakken have gotten much more efficient. The 180-190 rigs running in the region can drill as many wells as 200 plus in previous years. Better yet, there are enough completion crews to keep up. Development of the play is finally hitting its stride in what should be a normal level of development.

During a call discussing record production in June, Helms stated "The current condition of our Bakken plays is that we`ve reached our cruising altitude, so it is safe to get up and walk around."

Bakken production from North Dakota surpassed 750,000 b/d for the first time in June. Wells continue to improve and the deeper zones of the Three Forks look promising.

Oil prices falling substantially is one risk to development at this point, but there aren't many concerns at $100 per barrel. At the time this article was written, oil in the region was trading at a ~$5/bbl discount to WTI.

Read more about ND's record production month in the article Bakken Oil Production Sets New Record.