Bakken & Three Forks Well Spuds Set Record in the Williston Basin

Williston Basin Well Spuds Q3 2013
Williston Basin Well Spuds Q3 2013

Bakken and Three Forks well spuds hit a new high in the third quarter. Baker Hughes reported 747 well starts in the Williston Basin over the past three months.

The Williston Basin accounted for 747 or more than 8% of the 9,175 wells that were spud in the U.S. in the third quarter. The number of wells spud beats the previous record of 693 set in the second quarter and is almost 50% higher than the number of wells started in the first quarter of 2012.

That's right. The number of wells started per quarter is up almost 50% over the past 18 months, while the rig count has fallen a little more than 10%. An average of 206 rigs were working in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 183 in the third quarter of 2013. Experience and pad drilling continue to drive development times down.

The average rig working in the basin drilled 4.08 wells during the quarter or spent a little more than 22 days from spud to spud. That's up from 2.46 wells per rig or more than 36 days from spud to spud in the first quarter of 2012

Not every well in the basin targets the Bakken and Three Forks, but we estimate the plays account for more than 95% of the activity in the Williston Basin.