Bakken-Three Forks Rig Count 182 - North Dakota Public Service Commission Approves Bakken Oil Express Pipeline - Jan 6, 2014

Pipeline Construction
Pipeline Construction

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased by two to 182 running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 186 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 26 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 dropped by 6 rigs from 1,757 to 1,751 running over the past week. A total of 372 rigs are targeting natural gas (2 less than last week) and 1,378 (4 less than last week) are targeting oil in the U.S. 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. That's up two 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 186 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 4 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 remained at 180. WTI oil prices took a slight hit as trading resumed for the new year, dropping to just under $94/bbl by the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $74.94/bbl on Dec 20th. The WTI-Brent opened up some from last week, settling a little under $14 this past week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading around $4.30/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: 164 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 14 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 4 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.