Bakken Rig Count 175 - Production Approaching 1 Million b/d - Jan 17, 2013

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

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one to 175 running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 187 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 17 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

The NDIC's Director's Cut revealed that The Bakken and Three Forks region is on the verge of becoming one the most prolific oilfields in history. With more than 10,000 wells producing in the month of November, it doesn't appear that it will be long before production hits 1-million b/d.

Read more here: Bakken Production Sets Another Record - More than 10,000 ND Wells Producing

The U.S. rig count increased by twenty-three (23) rigs from 1,754 to 1,777 running over the past week. A total of 365 rigs are targeting natural gas (8 more than last week) and 1,408 are targeting oil in the U.S. (15 more than last week). The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 178 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. That's down one 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 187 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 12 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 17 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

[ic-l]The number of oil rigs running decreased by one to 175. WTI oil prices increased slightly, hitting $93.72/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $75.94/bbl on January 17th. The WTI-Brent opened up some from last week, settling a little under $13 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/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 55 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling: 159 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 15 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 1 rig is drilling a vertical well.

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.