Bakken-Three Forks Rig Count 180 - Marathon Oil Plans $1 Billion Spending in Bakken for 2014 - Dec 23, 2013

Marathon Oil Bakken Initial Production Improvement
Marathon Oil Bakken Initial Production Improvement

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by four to 180 running over the past week. The NDIC notes around 189 rigs are active in North Dakota, but around 17 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Marathon Oil plans to spend $1 billion of its $3.6 billion budget in North America in the Bakken in 2014.

As a result, the company's production is expected to grow from a little less than 40,000 boe/d in 2013 to a little less than 50,000 boe/d in 2014. Read more in the article: Marathon Oil Plans To Spend $1 Billion in the Bakken in 2014

The U.S. rig count dropped by 14 rigs from 1,782 to 1,768 running over the past week. A total of 372 rigs are targeting natural gas (3 more than last week) and 1,395 (16 less than last week) are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 183 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. That's down four from last week.

Not all rigs counted in our census are drilling for the Bakken, but it's close. The NDIC estimates 95% or more of activity in this region targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Note: The NDIC reports 189 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 9 more than Baker Hughes reports in the Bakken area. The difference is likely accounted for in the number of rigs actually working, rigs that might not be serviced by Baker Hughes AND rigs in areas outside of the Bakken fairway. On any given week, a certain number of rigs are in route to the next well location or idle waiting to drill the next well. The NDIC notes that more than 15 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of oil rigs running decreased by four to 180. WTI oil prices basically held flat on the week at just under $99/bbl. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $80.94/bbl on Dec 5th. The WTI-Brent spread held around $14 this week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading just under $4.50/mmbtu on Friday. A little more than 10% of the production stream from the Bakken and Three Forks is attributable to natural gas and roughly half of that is NGLs.

McKenzie County continues to lead development with 57 rigs running. Dunn, Mountrail, and Williams counties are the only other counties with more than 20 rigs running. View the full list below.

Activity is dominated by horizontal drilling: 161 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 15 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 4 rigs are drilling vertical wells.

Bakken Oil & Gas News

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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 and/or Smith Service Co's (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.