Bakken Shale Regional Rig Count 184 July 12, 2013

Oil Rail Car Image
Oil Rail Car Image

The Bakken Shale drilling rig count fell three rigs this past week to settle at 184 running. Expect the small declines to reverse if oil prices hold as high as they are today (over $106/bbl).

The U.S. rig count is up two to 1,759, of which 185 are running in the Williston Basin. A total of 362 rigs are targeting natural gas and 1,391 are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).

The week started off with sad news out of Canada. A train carrying Bakken oil derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec-Canada. The train was stopped, but somehow began rolling toward the town. The train derailed while traveling over 60 mph. Over 30 buildings were damaged, 13 lives lost and many people still missing. The accident highlights one of the major risks of rail compared to pipelines. 

Note: The NDIC reports 186 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 12 more than Baker Hughes reports. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working. 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. Those rigs are not counted in the Baker Hughes census.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading near $3.65/mmbtu on Friday afternoon.

The number of oil rigs running fell by three to 184 in the region. WTI prices have rallied on the back of unrest in Egypt and wider equity market appreciation. The oil benchmark was trading over $106/bbl on Friday. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $96.19/bbl on July 12th..

McKenzie County led development with 68 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 19 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.