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North Dakota – update through February 2020

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 15,780 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through February.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

Total production

Oil production in North Dakota increased slightly to 1.41 million bo/d in February, the month before the dramatic decline in oil prices. In the first 2 months of the year, 177 new wells came online, the highest number in the past 4 years.

Supply Projection dashboard

Although the horizontal rig count in North Dakota fell last week to 41 (from 51 in Jan/Feb), this is still sufficient to maintain a long-term output of about 1.4 million bo/d (assuming no changes in rig/well productivity), which you can find in our new Supply Projection dashboard. We have made this dashboard publicly available here since last week.

Well productivity

Since 2018, initial well productivity has remained unchanged, as is clearly displayed in the bottom chart within the “Well quality” overview.

Well status

In the “Well status” tab, the status of all these wells can be seen. The bottom chart shows that in February over 60% of the horizontal wells in North Dakota produced less than 50 bo/d, which at current prices is in most cases probably uneconomical on an operating basis.


Whiting Petroleum, which for several years was the largest operator in the Bakken, filed for bankruptcy on April 1st. In February, it still produced more than 100 thousand bo/d in North Dakota (see “Top operators”). It drilled its best wells in the years 2008-2010, with the development of the Sanish field, as you can see in this image from ShaleProfile Analytics:


Whiting’s well productivity in North Dakota, by year of first production

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 quarter in which production started.


We will have a new post on Oklahoma later this week, followed by an update on Pennsylvania early next week. We also plan to do a webinar on the Supply Projection dashboard next week (probably Thursday at 9 am CT) – stay tuned!


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/3elsFLf

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