Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases by One to 192

Magnum Hunter Resources' Bakken Acreage Map
Magnum Hunter Resources' Bakken Acreage Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by one to 192 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week. The NDIC notes 193 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 20 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In recent Bakken news, Houston, TX-based Magnum Hunter Resources sold a large chunk of its Bakken acreage for $84.7-million to an undisclosed buyer.

The deal, which closed in mid October of this year, included non-operated working interests in ~105,661 gross (12,500 net) leasehold acres in Divide County, ND. The divested properties currently account for net average production of ~720 boe/d.

Read moreMagnum Hunter Sells Bakken Acreage - $84.7-Million

The U.S. rig count decreased by four to 1,925 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 356 rigs were targeting natural gas (ten more than the previous week) and 1,568 were targeting oil in the U.S. (14 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).193 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. 181 are in ND alone.

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 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is the same number Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area, but 12 more than the company reports in North Dakota. 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs stayed flat at 191 rigs running by the end of the week . WTI oil prices decreased by ~$1.50 from the previous week, trading at $78.95/bbl on Friday afternoon. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $59.44/bbl on Nov. 7th. The WTI-Brent closed up a bit, settling at just over $4.50 by the end of last week.

For the first time in several months, one natural gas rig was recorded in the region. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading at $4.46/mmbtu by the end of last 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 61 rigs running. Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties are the only other counties with more than 28 rigs running each. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 177 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 13 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 2 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Bakken Oil & Gas News

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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.