Bakken Oil Production Sets Record At More Than 750,000 b/d In ND - June 2013

Bakken Oil Production Forecast
Bakken Oil Production Forecast

Bakken oil production grew a little more than 10,000 b/d from May to June to set a new record at just under 757,000 b/d. The play drove North Dakota to an all time oil production record of a little more than 821,000 b/d. Including Montana, it's likely Bakken and Three Forks production surpassed 800,000 b/d in June.

While impressive, the results are much less dramatic than those reported by Genscape earlier in the week. Genscape predicted the Largest Monthly Bakken Production Increase on record.

We haven't spoken to anyone at Genscape, but we have two thoughts as to why their estimate might have been inaccurate:

  • Weather delays in May mean oil produced during the month might have been stored and shipped in June. In that scenario, rail shipments of oil would have been much higher than actual production in June. Genscape uses data from rail terminal shipments and pipelines to estimate production.
  • Our other thought is that May production might not have been impacted as much as thought due to the weather and that delays impacted June more than May.

Both scenarios suggest we're in for a larger than normal production bump as operators catch up in the North Dakota oil patch.

Other notable items from the NDIC's director's cut include:

  • Natural gas production grew to 930 mmcfd
  • Number of producing wells set a record at 9,071
  • Well completions fell by 4 from May to 139 in June
  • Time from spud to total depth held at 22 days
  • Time from well spud to first production averaged 116 days
  • Backlog of wells waiting to be completed fell 10 to 490

Read the full directors cut at

Bakken Oil Production Record Set In May - Despite Wet Weather

Bakken oil & gas production in North Dakota grew almost 2% in May to set a new record. The state produced:

  • 810,129 b/d of oil
  • 899,977 mmcfd

That's up from 793,852 b/d and 861,193 mmcfd in April.

If any month was expected slow, it would have been May. June is really the only month left to watch this year. The rest of the year should continue to grow at a consistent pace. Activity levels point to growth of 10,000 b/d per month through the end of the year. Growth of more than 16,000 b/d in May is a bit of surprise to the upside and puts the state well on its way to eclipsing 850,000 b/d by year-end.

April was the coldest on record and was followed by the wettest month on record. Load restrictions have been in force in parts of the state over the past two months and construction of well sites has been constrained.