North Dakota Bakken Production On Pace For 850,000 b/d In 2013

North Dakota Bakken Three Forks Map
North Dakota Bakken Three Forks Map

The latest director's cut from the NDIC shows oil production in North Dakota hit a record of more than 793,000 b/d in April 2013. The state is on pace to surpass 850,000 b/d by year-end.

At current levels of activity in the Bakken and Three Forks, production should grow approximately 10,000 b/d per month. That puts the state on pace to hit 760,000-780,000 b/d by year-end.

The target will be easily surpassed if operators can get the oil to market. Weather delays have been the biggest obstacle in 2013. Snow and heavy rain over the past two months has shortened the most productive time of the year (summer). April 2013 was the coldest on record and May 2013 was the wettest on record.

Lynn Helms stated, "Operators have not been able to catch a break."

The delays caused by weather have made it even harder for frac crews to keep up with the drilling rigs. It's estimated that 490 wells have been drilled and are awaiting completion. That's almost 6% of all the producing wells in the state!

There are 187 rigs working in North Dakota and Baker Hughes noted 178 of those were active in the Bakken area last week.

Other highlights from May 2013 include:

  • Gas production set a record at 860 mmcfd
  • 29% of gas production was flared
  • 211 drilling permits issued

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