The Bakken-Three Forks rig count stayed flat at 176 rigs running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 190 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 13 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.
In recent Bakken news, Conoco Phillips' Bakken Production hits 43,000 boe/d in Q4 2013. The Bakken makes up ~12% of Conoco Phillips Lower 48 Production
The U.S. rig count increased by 8 to 1,785 running over the past week. A total of 358 rigs are targeting natural gas (2 more than last week) and 1,422 are targeting oil in the U.S. (6 more than last week). The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 179 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD, staying flat 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 190 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 14 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 13 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.
Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs
The number of oil rigs running stayed flat at 176. WTI oil prices increased slightly, hitting $97.91/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $79.19/bbl on January 31st. The WTI-Brent closed up some from last week, settling at ~$12 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 $4.85/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 56 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 25 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.
Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:
- 159 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
- 15 rigs are drilling directional wells
- 2 rigs are drilling vertical wells.
Bakken Oil & Gas News
- Hess's Capital Budget for 2014 Flat in Bakken at $2.2 Billion
- Emerald Acquires Bakken Acreage in the Williston Basin for $74.6 Million
- Conoco Phillips' Bakken Shale Production Up 80% in Q4 2013 to 43,000 boe/d
- WBI Energy's Bakken Gas Pipeline Enters Open Season - Dakota Pipeline
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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.