Bakken-Three Forks Rig Count 184 - ConocoPhillips Increases Bakken Spending - Dec 13, 2013

ConocoPhillips Bakken Leashold and Mineral Acreage Map
ConocoPhillips Bakken Leashold and Mineral Acreage Map

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count jumped by 8 rigs to 184 running over the past week. The NDIC notes that 191 rigs are currently active in North Dakota, but about 17 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

ConocoPhillips` announced its 2014 budget with increased spending in the lower 48, particularly the Bakken. Conoco has a five-year plan to spend $5 billion in the Bakken and grow production to 50,000 boe/d by 2017.

Read more in the article: ConocoPhillips Increases Bakken Spending in Its 2014 Budget

The U.S. rig count increased 7 rigs from 1,775 to 1,782 running over the past week. A total of 369 rigs are targeting natural gas (6 less than last week) and 1,411 (14 more than last week) are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).187 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. That's up eight 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 191 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 18 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 just under 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

[ic-l]The number of oil rigs running increased by eight to 184. WTI oil prices held basically flat on the week at $97/bbl. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $78.19/bbl on Dec 13th. The WTI-Brent shrank slightly to about $13 this week, but the Brent-Williston Sweet spread remains more than $30/bbl.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading up during the week ~$4.40/mmbtu on Friday. 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 59 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: 163 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 16 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 5 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.