Bakken Shale Rig Count Increases in Time for Christmas

Bakken Shale Play

Just in time for Christmas, Bakken Shale operators brought more rigs on line.

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count increased for the second week in a row this week, with Baker Hughes reporting 49 rigs running through our coverage area by Friday midday. 

In recent Bakken Shale news, a mineral rights dispute is delaying oil and gas development around Lake Sakakawea.

Mineral Rights in Bakken Under Question

A total of 931 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, one more than last week. 184 rigs were targeting natural gas (+1) and 747 were targeting oil in the U.S. (+0). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 48 of the rigs active in the U.S. were running in North Dakota.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

49 rigs targeted oil in the Bakken this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices at $58.47 on Friday afternoon. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with commodity futures trading at $2.67/mmbtu by midday.

Own mineral rights in the Bakken? Join the discussion here. 

McKenzie County leads activity in the region with 23 rigs running this week. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

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

Rig Count by County

Bakken Shale Rig Count by County

Bakken Shale 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.