Whiting Petroleum Allocates $580 Million for Bakken

Whiting Petroleum plans to spend $580 million in the Bakken for 2017.

Related: Whiting Petroleum Sells Bakken Assets

Whiting Petroleum’s capital budget for 2017 is almost double that of last year, with the company expecting to spend $1.1 billion. $580 million is planned for activity in the Williston Basin, including running five rigs in the region.

In 2016, we worked to position the company for strong growth through balance sheet improvement and a focus on operational improvements that resulted in a 42% increase in per well productivity over 2015. In 2017, we are focused on increasing production, reserves and net asset value through a capital efficient plan that further enhances our balance sheet metrics through growth. We project a total capital budget of $1.1 billion in 2017. Based on this capital plan, we forecast that production grows 23% from first quarter to fourth quarter 2017.
— James J. Volker, Chairman, President and CEO

Data available from the North Dakota Industrial Commission shows Whiting is the top performer in the Bakken. For 2016, Whiting reported the following for its Bakken/Three Forks assets:

  • Q4 averaged 108,850 BOE/d, an increase of 3% over the third quarter. 
  • Q4 2016 Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities of $236.8 Million Exceeded Capex by $114.9 Million
  • Q4 2016 Average Production of 118,890 BOE/d Above High End of Guidance; Williston Basin Production Grew 3% Sequentially
  • Q4 2016 LOE at Low End of Guidance at $8.01 per BOE
  • Full-Year 2016 Capex on Target at $554 million
  • Williston Basin 90-Day Average Production Rate per Well in 2016 Increased 42% over 2015 and 84% over 2014
  • Large Volume Completions Continued to Exceed Expectations with a 30-Day Average Rate per Well of 1,754 BOE/d in the Fourth Quarter


Whiting projects a 2017 capital budget of $1.1 billion, with plans to invest $1,060 million of the capital budget on development activity in its core Williston Basin and DJ Basin areas. The company will run five rigs and spend $580 million on development activities in the Williston Basin and run one rig and spend $420 million on development activities in the DJ Basin.

In November, Whiting Petroleum announced its intention to sell its Bakken midstream assets to an affiliate of Tesoro Logistics Rockies for $375 million. The $375 deal included Whiting's 50% stake in the Robinson Lake natural gas–processing plant along with the associated natural gas–gathering system located in Mountrail County, North Dakota.