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North Dakota – update through January 2020

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 15,674 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through January.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

Oil production in North Dakota fell by 3% in January m-o-m, after a similar drop in the month before. Only 74 new wells were brought online in January, the lowest number since March 2019 (64).

In the “Well quality” tab you can find the production profiles for all these wells. It appears (see the bottom chart) that well productivity in the basin has peaked in 2018 (so far). New wells recover almost 250 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years, which is probably around half the amount they will eventually recover.

All the major operators were off their peak output, with Whiting almost at the lowest point in 7 years (“Top operators”).

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.

With all the wells that began production in 2019 now having at least 2 calendar months of production history (including the ones that started in December), we can see the initial curve for this vintage (in dark blue). These wells peaked 10% higher than the wells from the previous year, although they don’t seem to be on a trajectory to recover more oil (change the “Show wells by” selection to “Quarter of first flow”).

We just added a new dashboard in ShaleProfile Analytics, which shows the amount of flared gas in any selected area and time frame. For example, in this screenshot you can find the total amount of natural gas produced and flared in North Dakota over the past 15 years:


Produced and flared gas in North Dakota, since 2005.

In the chart on the right you can see that the amount of gas flared (in orange) has dropped from the recent high to just over 400 MMcf/d. This is slightly above the level reached 6 years ago, but as the amount of gas produced (in red) tripled in this period, the percentage of flared gas has dropped significantly (15% in January).

The map shows the location of all the horizontal wells in North Dakota. They are colored by the amount of gas flared in the most recent month (red is more).

This dashboard also contains a chart that ranks all operators (or counties/wells) by the amount of gas flared. Continental Resources has flared the most (151 Bcf in the past 15 years, or 21% of gas produced). Marathon flared less (81 Bcf), but a larger percentage (37%).

For now we only have flaring data for Colorado and North Dakota. In the coming weeks, we aim to add New Mexico and Texas as well.

I am also happy to announce that we have just completed a major improvement to the maps in the Professional version of ShaleProfile Analytics : now we also show the land survey boundaries (townships/ranges/sections) for all the states that we cover. If you had a trial before, but would like to see all the new features, simply request a new trial.

We will have a new post next week.

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/336rvOB

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