Bakken Rig Count - 183 - Wood Mackenzie Forecasts $15 Billion in Bakken Spending - 2014

Wood Mackenzie Bakken and Three Forks Map
Wood Mackenzie Bakken and Three Forks Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count remained flat at 183 rigs running at the end of last week. The NDIC notes 194 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 15 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent news, the oil and gas research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie expects $15 billion will be spent on drilling and completions in the Bakken in 2014, second only to the Eagle Ford Shale. This year, oil production is expected to reach the 1 million b/d mark, and grow markedly beyond that figure over the next 5 – 6 years.

Read moreWood Mackenzie Forecasts $15 Billion on Bakken Drilling and Completions - 2014

The U.S. rig count increased by nine to 1818 rigs running last week. A total of 316 rigs are targeting natural gas (2 less than last week) and 1,498 are targeting oil in the U.S. (11 more than last week). The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 185 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD.

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 194 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 11 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 15 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat last week . WTI oil prices were also flat at  $100.74/bbl on Friday. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $87.94/bbl on April 4th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at ~$6 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$4.50/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 62 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 24 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 168 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 15 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells.

Bakken Oil & Gas News

Be sure to visit our Bakken Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts - Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

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.