Bakken Shale Rig Count Isn't Keeping Up

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count remained flat this week, with Baker Hughes reporting 37 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.

Rig counts across the country are slowly climbing as conditions in the oil and gas industry continues to improve. But the Bakken doesn't seem to be keeping up with the growth of other shale plays. The Eagle Ford Shale rig count is at 68 this week, a 50% increase in the last six months.

A total of 728 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, a gain of 27 over last week. 145 rigs targeted natural gas (the same as the previous week) and 583 were targeting oil in the U.S. (27 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 36 of the rigs active in the U.S. were running in North Dakota.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

Bakken oil rigs were at 37 this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices increasing to $53.80 on Friday afternoon. Prices for WTI-Brent also increased to per barrel of $56.75. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures trading at $3.06/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County leads production in the region with 17 rigs running this week. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 37 rigs are drilling horizontal wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling directional wells
  • 0 rigs are drilling vertical wells

Rig Count 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.

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