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Visualizing North Dakota Oil & Gas Production (Through August 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 16,771 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2001 onward, through August.

Total production

Oil production in North Dakota from horizontal wells increased by 2% to 1.06 million b/d in August. Only 366 horizontal wells came online this year through August, the lowest number in a decade.

Well productivity

In the 3rd tab (Well quality), you can view how average well productivity has changed over time in North Dakota.  To figure out much these wells are likely to produce in total, the following dashboard from our analytics service comes in handy:


Well productivity in the core of the Bakken (oil rate vs. cum. production), by vintage year of first production. Horizontal wells only.

By extrapolating these curves until an economic limit is reached, you can make a rough estimate on ultimate recovery. It appears that the wells that have come online since 2017 will on average have a cumulative production of 350-400 thousand barrels of oil, before having declined to a production rate of 20 b/d. In the current price environment, that is still profitable for most wells.

Gas/oil ratios in Parshall & Sanish

Parshall and Sanish are some of the oldest and largest fields in North Dakota. How have gas/oil ratios (GORs) developed here over time, and what has been the impact on well performance?


Parshall & Sanish fields. The charts on the right display well performance (rate vs cum.) and GOR vs cum.

The selected wells are color-coded by the GOR in the most recent month (red is more gassy). What you can see here is that for several of the earlier vintages there is a clear inflection point when GORs suddenly increased steeply (bottom-right chart). This also seems to have coincided with a steepening of the decline (top-right chart). Newer wells are getting gassier quicker and recover less oil than earlier wells.

The following image shows how the overall oil and gas production, as well as the GOR (yellow, right-hand axis) have developed over the years here:


Overall oil & gas production (left-hand axis) and GOR (right-hand axis) in the Parshall & Sanish fields. Horizontal wells since 2007 only.

You can see that since 2014 the GOR has increased quite steeply, from less than 1 Mcf/bbl, to close to 2.5 Mcf/bbl in August. Total gas production is on a similar level as 5 years earlier, though oil output has fallen by almost half.

Top operators

The final tab shows the production history and location of the top 12 operators in North Dakota. Continental Resources is with over 150 thousand b/d of output well above the number 2, Hess (with 99 thousand b/d in August).


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.

For these presentations, we used data gathered from the sources listed below.

  • Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Similar to Texas, lease/unit production is allocated over wells in order to estimate their individual production histories.
  • Montana Board of Oil and Gas
  • New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission
  • North Dakota Department of Natural Resources
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission – Oil & Gas Division
  • Oklahoma Tax Commission
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Texas Railroad Commission. Individual well production is estimated through the allocation of lease production data over the wells in a lease, and from pending lease production data.
  • Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining
  • Automated Geographic Reference Center of Utah.
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

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

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Facebook: ShaleProfile


Edited by shaleprofile

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