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Visualizing North Dakota Oil & Gas Production (Through February 2021)

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This article contains still images from the interactive dashboards available in the original blog post. To follow the instructions in this article, please use the interactive dashboards. Furthermore, they allow you to uncover other insights as well.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 16,302 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through February.

Total production

Oil production in North Dakota from horizontal wells fell by 6% m-o-m, to 1.05 million bo/d in February, based on preliminary data. Only 1 well came online every day in the first 2 months, on average, while more than 2 are required to sustain the current output.

Well status

In the bottom chart of the 4th tab (“Well status”), you’ll find that now 7 thousand horizontal wells here (just over 40% of the total) are producing at a rate below 25 barrels of oil per day, which for many will start to become challenging to operate profitably. This is more than 3 times the number compared with 5 years ago (2,273 in Feb 2016).

Top operators

The final tab shows the top 10 operators in the basin. Continental Resources, Hess and Marathon are the 3 largest producers, despite being below their historical output records.

Water production

In the 4 core counties of the Bakken, 1.2 barrels of water are produced for each barrel of oil. The following screenshot from our Water Production dashboard shows the location of all the wells here that began production since 2008, colored by the water/oil ratio in the most recent month:


Water production in the heart of the Bakken.

The charts on the right show the water production rate (top chart) and the water/oil ratio (bottom chart) over time, by vintage of production start. A striking finding is that the water production rate doesn’t seem to be dropping for the older wells (2008/2009), on average, although their water/oil ratio at just over 0.5 is still lower than newer wells, as you’ll see in the bottom chart.


Later this week or early next week we will have a new post on the Permian.


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.

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight:

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