Bakken Rig Count - 175 - Bakken Shale Pushes Up Marathon Income in 2013 - February 7, 2014

Marathon Oil Bakken Map
Marathon Oil Bakken Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one rig to 175 rigs running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 192 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 19 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Marathon Oil’s Bakken production helped drive the company’s North American E&P segment income to $529 million in 2013, compared to $382 million in 2012.

Read moreMarathon Oil's Bakken Production Drives North American E&P Income Up 38%

The U.S. rig count decreased by 14 to 1,771 running over the past week. A total of 351 rigs are targeting natural gas (7 less than last week) and 1,416 are targeting oil in the U.S. (6 less than last week). The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).177 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD, increasing by two rigs from last week.

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

Note: The NDIC reports 192 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 17 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 rigs in 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 around 19 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs decreased by one rig to 175 rigs running over the past week. WTI oil prices increased slightly, hitting $100.12/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $81.44/bbl on February 7th. The WTI-Brent closed up some from last week, settling at ~$9 by the end of the week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading around $4.77/mmbtu by the end of the week. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 57 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 27 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 163 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 12 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells.

Bakken Oil & Gas News

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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.