Bakken-Three Forks Rig Count 176 - Oasis Petroleum Expanding - Dec 6, 2013

Oasis Petroleum Bakken Acreage Map - Acquisition Included
Oasis Petroleum Bakken Acreage Map - Acquisition Included

The Bakken-Three Forks rig count decreased by one rig to 176 running over the past week. The NDIC notes more than 190 rigs are active in North Dakota, but more than 20 of those are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

In the company's third quarter earnings release, Oasis Petroleum detailed acquisitions that bring its acreage holdings up to almost 500,000 net acres. The deals were just a few of many highlights from the company's earnings release.

Oasis added two rigs, believes it has a drilling inventory of more than 3,000 wells, and has driven well costs below $7.5 million. Read more in the article: Oasis Petroleum Nearing Half a Million Acres in the Bakken

The U.S. rig count increased 12 rigs from 1,763 to 1,775 running over the past week. A total of 375 rigs are targeting natural gas (8 more than last week) and 1,397 (6 more than last week) are targeting oil in the U.S. The remainder are drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.). 179 rigs are running in the Williston Basin across MT, ND, and SD. That's down one 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 193 rigs are active in North Dakota. That is 27 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 20 rigs are in the process of moving in and rigging up.

Bakken Oil & Gas Rigs

[ic-l]The number of oil rigs running decreased by one to 176. WTI oil prices were up ~5% and trading above $97/bbl at the end of the week. Williston Basin Sweet crude traded at $78.94/bbl on Dec 5th. The WTI-Brent spread held at about $14 this week.

The natural gas rig count in the region held flat at zero. Natural gas futures (Henry Hub) were trading over $4/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 61 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: 154 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, 17 rigs are drilling directional wells, and 5 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.