Wet Weather Forcing Delays In North Dakota's Bakken Oilfield

North Dakota Bakken Region Precipitation Map May 2013
North Dakota Bakken Region Precipitation Map May 2013

It has been a tough couple of months for operators in the Bakken.

McKenzie County was forced to initiate a semi-truck ban on gravel roads this past weekend. The ban lasted from noon on Sunday through 6 am on Monday.

The past two months have been rough in North Dakota. Lynn Helms noted in his directors cut that April was the coldest month on record and May was the wettest. It hasn't let up much in June and McKenzie County estimates road damage from the past several weeks will cost the county as much as $50 million.

Operators have not been able to catch a break.
— Lynn Helms

Nine inches of rain fell over the past two weeks in McKenzie County alone. More than one-third, or 67 of the 188 rigs targeting the Bakken are active in McKenzie County.

Expect mention of delays to creep into earnings calls and operational updates over the coming weeks. A truck ban on a Sunday won't slow down the industry too much, but damaged roads and continued rain might.