Bakken Regional Rig Count 179 - Major Midstream Deal - Oct 11, 2013

The Bakken rig count decreased by two to settle at 179 running over the past week. The biggest announcement of the week was the $750 million acquisition of Arrow Midstream by Crestwood Midstream. The combination of the two companies creates one of the largest midstream companies in the region.

Read more about the deal in the article: Crestwood Midstream Acquires Arrow Midstream for $750 Million

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it's close. The NDIC estimates 95% of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

The U.S. rig count decrease 13 rigs from 1,756 to 1,743 running over the past week. A total of 369 rigs are targeting natural gas (9 less than last week) and 1,367 are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 181 rigs are running in the Williston Basin.

Note: The NDIC reports 184 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 15 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that more than 10 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs running fell two to 179 in the region. WTI oil prices were trading near $102/bbl on Friday. The commodity has held above $100/bbl for 14 weeks now. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $87.69/bbl on Oct 10th.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading near $3.78/mmbtu on Friday. Natural gas delivered to the Northern Border pipeline in Watford City is trading near $3/mmbtu. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas.

McKenzie County led development with 62 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running. View the full list below.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling: 158 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 16 rigs are drilling directional wells, and five rigs are drilling vertical wells.

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Bakken Drilling by County

What is the Rig Count?

The Bakken Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across Montana and North Dakota. The rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by Baker Hughes and not solely wells targeting the Bakken formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count and/or Smith Service Co's (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.