U.S. Rig Counts Picking Up: No Movement in the Bakken

Bakken Rig Count Stalls

Bakken Rig Count Stalls

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count has stalled as rigs counts increase around the country. The region remained flat this week with Baker Hughes reporting 27 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.

In recent Bakken news, the North Dakota’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citing concerns that the new rules are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law."

Read more: North Dakota Sues EPA

A total of 459 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, up 13 over last week. 88 were targeting natural gas (one less than the previous week) and 371 were targeting oil in the U.S. (14 more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 27 of the rigs active in the U.S. were running in North Dakota.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

Bakken oil rigs were at 27 this week with Bloomberg reporting WTI oil prices dipping to $44.19 on Friday afternoon. WTI-Brent also ended the week lower with Bloomberg reporting $45.69. The Bakken has zero natural active gas rig in the area this week with futures trading at $2.78/mmbtu by midday.

McKenzie County leads development with 12 rigs running this week, far outpacing other counties. View the full list below under the Bakken Drilling by County section.

Activity continues to be dominated by horizontal drilling:

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

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.

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