These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 17,045 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2001 onward, through December.
Oil production in North Dakota from horizontal wells fell by 2% m-o-m (and 6% y-o-y), to 1.09 million b/d in December. Natural gas output dropped by the same percentage to just below 3.0 Bcf/d.
Drilling & completion activity has further increased in the past month, and 29 rigs were drilling horizontal wells as of last week (according to Baker Hughes). We now also project in this basin some growth ahead, all else being equal (from our Supply Projection dashboard):
The top chart displays the horizontal rig count over time, while the bottom one plots the total historical and projected oil production from existing and future horizontal wells. The latter reveals that a somewhat higher output level than can be sustained than is currently being produced, with these 29 active rigs.
Drilled but UnCompleted wells
The DUC count has fallen in the last 2 years, from over 700 in January 2020 to about 500 in December:
Continental Resources, the leading oil producer in this state, was responsible for over 20% of all approved permits for new horizontal wells since the beginning of last year:
The final tab shows the production history and location of the top 15 operators in North Dakota. Continental Resources was only 10% below it’s historical output record in December.
Next week we will have a new post on the Permian, for which we already have December production data in our subscription services.
For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:
- DMR of North Dakota. These presentations only show the production from horizontal wells; a small amount (about 40 kbo/d) is produced from conventional vertical wells.
The above presentations have many interactive features:
- You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
- Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
- Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
- You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
- By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
- Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
- The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
- If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I am confused by all the discussion on DUCs. Data seems so contradictory. The EIA has DUCs in the Bakken sitting at 464 at the end of December, down from a peak in 885 in June of 2020. They have completions exceeding new drills by an average of about 27-28 wells per month for the last 6 months or so which is obviously unsustainable. Do you believe their data is out to lunch? It is a similar story across all the basins with drilling far less than completion activity and I don’t know what to make of that with respect to trying to figure out future production. Any thoughts?
On a high-level we’re seeing the same: a significant drawback of DUC inventory across the basins. Not sustainable by itself, but at the same time drilling activity is increasing rapidly, so I don’t expect completions to come down.
Enno. the ND chart stops at November on all of my devices.
Thanks Ovi, we’ve fixed this!