Bakken Operators Reducing DUCs

Bakken Shale E&P companies are moving forward with DUC reduction programs, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission. 

Related: Continental to Start Drilling Again

The North Dakota Industrial Commission issued its latest activity report that predicts operators will increase the minimum number of rigs throughout 2017 as long as oil prices remain between $50/barrel and $60/barrel. Highlights of the report include:

  • 73 well completions for September
  • 45 well completions for October
  • 860 wells still waiting on completion
  • Estimated inactive well count is 1,503, down nine from the end of September to the end of October. 
  • There was one significant precipitation event, eight days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and no days with temperatures below -10F. 
Half of the investment has been made, and these wells are likely to be completed when the economics are right.
— Ron Ness, President: ND Petroleum Council


It appears that E&P companies are committing to higher 2017 capital spending. In June, Continental Resources founder and CEO Harold Hamm told Bloomberg that new drilling in the Bakken won't take place until crude prices pass the $60 before mark. But encouraged by the recent increases, the company is now moving forward to complete their backlog of wells that still need to be fracked. 

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count fell by one this week with Baker Hughes reporting 32 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.