Bakken Rig Count Falls to 70

akken Rigs
akken Rigs

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count dropped to 70 rigs running across our coverage area by end of the week on Friday.

In recent Bakken news, a former operator of a saltwater well in southwest North Dakota, was indicted on 13 federal counts and fined a record $1.5 million in 2013 for putting drinking water at risk by illegally dumping more than 800,000 gallons of salty, oilfield wastewater into a former oil well in Stark County.

Read more: Former Bakken Operator Pleads Not-Guilty

The U.S. rig count fell by 13 this week, ending with 864 rigs running by midday Friday.  A total of 202 rigs were targeting natural gas (same as previous week) and 662 were targeting oil in the U.S. (13 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.)71 are in ND alone.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The Bakken oil rigs were at 70 this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices trading at $46.62/bbl on Friday afternoon, a $1.63 increase from the previous week. WTI-Brent increased $.33 landing to $50.35. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures increasing slightly to $2.66/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County continues to lead development at 22 rigs this week, while Williams (14), Dunn (13) and Mountrail (13) followed behind. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 66 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 1 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 3 rigs are drilling vertical wells

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Bakken Drilling by County


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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.