U.S. Rig Count Makes Big Gains, Bakken Shale Dips

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count fell back this week, with Baker Hughes reporting 36 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.

In recent Bakken news, North Dakota legislators voted in favor of House Bill 1151, which eliminates a reporting requirement for oil spills under 10 barrels. The 82-11 vote was a clear victory for companies who say the measure will save them time and money. 

Read more: North Dakota Bill Eliminates Oil Spill Reporting

A total of 740 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, a gain of 12 over last week. 149 rigs targeted natural gas (4 more than the previous week) and 591 were targeting oil in the U.S. (eight more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 35 of the rigs active in the U.S. were running in North Dakota.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

Bakken oil rigs were at 36 this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices dipping to $53.40 on Friday afternoon. Prices for WTI-Brent also dropped per barrel to $55.81. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures trading at $2.83/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County leads production in the region with 18 rigs running this week. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

  • 36 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.

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