Bakken Regional Rig Count Holds Flat At 180 August 16, 2013

Bakken Oil Production Forecast - NDPA
Bakken Oil Production Forecast - NDPA

The Bakken rig count held flat at 180 rigs running in the region this past week. The average rig count so far in 2013 has been just over 186 rigs running.

The U.S. rig count was up 13 to 1,791, of which 182 are running in the Williston Basin. A total of 388 rigs are targeting natural gas and 1,397 are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).

The past week was highlighted by a report that June was expected to show the largest monthly increase in Bakken production on record. We were a little disappointed when the actual June Bakken production numbers came out. Production grew by more than 10,000 b/d to a new record in North Dakota, but it did not come close to the 50,000+ b/d increase expected by Genscape. The team at Genscape is investigating why their sample that includes 85% of capacity out of the basin led to the error in estimating production. It's likely an issue related to higher storage levels than normal during the wet weather experienced in May and June. Read more about the production record in the article: Bakken Oil Production Sets Record At More Than 750,000 b/d In June 2013

Note: The NDIC reports 182 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 10 more than Baker Hughes reports. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working. 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. Those rigs are not counted in the Baker Hughes census.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs running held flat at 180 in the region. WTI prices were trading above $107/bbl on Friday afternoon and the benchmark has been above $100 for six weeks running. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $94.94/bbl on August 15th.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading near $3.37/mmbtu on Friday afternoon. Natural gas delivered to the Northern Border pipeline in Watford City is trading below $3 near $2.79/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 67 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 19 rigs running. View the full list below.

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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.