Bakken Rig Count 180 Four Weeks Straight - Aug 30, 2013

Whiting Petroleum Bakken Acquisition Acreage Map - August 2013
Whiting Petroleum Bakken Acquisition Acreage Map - August 2013

The Bakken rig count held flat at 180 rigs running for the fourth week. The rig count didn't change much during August. We started the month with 179 rigs running and held flat at 180 the rest of the month.

The U.S. rig count was flat at 1,776, but several rigs moved from drilling natural gas to oil. A total of 380 rigs are targeting natural gas and 1,388 are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 182 rigs are running in the Williston Basin.

Whiting Petroleum's $260 million acquisition of a little more than 17,000 net acres in North Dakota and Montana dominated headlines. The company has now assembled almost 715,000 net acres at a cost of $643 million ($900/acre). Read the full story in the article Whiting Acquires Bakken Acreage In Montana & North Dakota

Note: The NDIC reports 185 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 15 more than Baker Hughes reports. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working and rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes. 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 held flat at 180 in the region. WTI prices were trading near $108/bbl and the benchmark has been above $100 for eight weeks running. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $95.19/bbl on August 30th.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading near $3.60/mmbtu on Friday. Natural gas delivered to the Northern Border pipeline in Watford City is trading below $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 64 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 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.