Bakken-Three Forks Rig Count 176 - Drilling Efficiency Flat in Q4 - Jan 13, 2014

Bakken and Three Forks Well Spuds Q4 2013
Bakken and Three Forks Well Spuds Q4 2013

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by six to 176 running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 193 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 16 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the siting permit for the Bakken Oil Express Pipeline between Killdeer and Dickinson. The pipeline is expected to replace 825 trucks per day on Highway 22. With the permit in hand, construction can begin immediately.

Read more in the article: Bakken Oil Express Pipeline Approved by the North Dakota PSC

The U.S. rig count increased by three rigs from 1,751 to 1,754 running over the past week. A total of 357 rigs are targeting natural gas (15 less than last week) and 1,393 (15 more than last week) are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).179 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. That's down six from last week.

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 17 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 26 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

[ic-l]The number of oil rigs running decreased by six to 176. WTI oil prices took a slight hit as trading resumed for the new year, dropping to just under $92/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $73.19/bbl on January 13th. The WTI-Brent opened up some from last week, settling a little under $15 this past week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading around $4/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 57 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: 160 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 14 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 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 and/or Smith Service Co's (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.