Bakken Rig Count Up To 181 - New Production Records Sept 20, 2013

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

The Bakken rig count increased by two rigs to 181 running. The increase reverses two months of either seeing no change or the loss of rigs. The Williston Basin rig count increased by three to reach 184 rigs running.

The biggest announcement of the week came from the NDIC who published July production figures. Bakken-Three Forks production drove the state of North Dakota to a new record of almost 875,000 b/d. Statewide production grew by almost 53,000 b/d (record) and the Bakken now produces over 800,000 b/d.

Read more in the article Largest Monthly Bakken Oil Production Increase Ever

The U.S. rig count fell seven rigs from 1,768 to 1,761 running this past week. A total of 386 rigs are targeting natural gas (15 less than last week) and 1,369 are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 184 rigs are running in the Williston Basin

Note: The NDIC reports 185 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 16 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 increased by two units to 181 in the region. WTI oil prices fell further during the week and oil was trading near $105/bbl on Friday. The commodity has held above $100/bbl for 11 weeks now. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $92.44/bbl on Sept 20th.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading near $3.70/mmbtu on Friday. Natural gas delivered to the Northern Border pipeline in Watford City is trading near$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 65 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running. View the full list below.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling: 159 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 15 rigs are drilling directional wells, and seven rigs are drilling vertical wells.

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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.