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North Dakota – update through July 2020

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 16,061 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through July.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard


Total production

North Dakota oil production recovered further in July to just above 1 million bo/d. This was about 150 thousand bo/d higher than in June, most of it due to existing wells being put back on production. Through July 423 new wells were completed, far below the level in the same period last year (719), but still higher than seen in 2016 (381).

Just below 3,200 horizontal wells were inactive (not producing anything) in July, a drop of 1,000 compared with the month before. The number of inactive wells at the start of the year was about half (1,600).

Supply projection

Only 9 rigs were drilling horizontal wells last week (according to the Baker Hughes rig count), compared with 50 at the start of the year. If activity would stay here, further declines are inevitable as you will find in our Supply Projection dashboard:


Tight oil outlook for North Dakota, based on current drilling activity and productivity

Well productivity

Average well performance obviously took a hit due to the shut-ins, as is visible in the “Well quality” tab. So far the wells that came online in 2018 had the best performance in the first 2 years.

Top operators

Continental Resources saw the largest m-o-m increase in production in July, as it brought a significant portion of its shut-in wells back online (see final tab). It responded the most dramatically of all the major operators here.

Marathon, also listed here, had some positive news; the wells that it completed this year performed slightly better than earlier wells (screenshot from ShaleProfile Analytics (Professional)😞


Marathon’s well performance since 2015 in North Dakota.

Advanced Insights

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:


This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how these horizontal wells are heading towards their ultimate recovery. They are grouped by the year in which production started.


My friend Mike Shellman posted a nice story on a well that Shell drilled in the Permian last year. If you thought laterals were straight, you should check it out: https://www.oilystuffblog.com/single-post/2020/09/04/Here-We-Go-Looptie-Loop

Early next week we plan to have a new post on the Permian. More news coming soon..


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.
  • FracFocus.org

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight: https://bit.ly/2ZkZiTw

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