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North Dakota – Oil production set a new record in July

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North Dakota – update through July 2018

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.


These interactive presentations contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 13,628 horizontal wells in North Dakota through July, that started production since 2005.


Visit the ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboards

July oil production in North Dakota came in at 1,269 kbo/d, after a month-on-month rise of 3.4%, setting a new record for the state.



An important factor behind this jump were the 141 new wells that started production, the highest number in 3 years. Completion activity was higher in the first 7 months of this year compared with last year (649 vs 525 wells).


Several operators set new production records, including Continental Resources and ConocoPhillips, which just surpassed Whiting as the 2nd largest producer in this area (see ‘Top operators’).


The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:


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


It shows that so far the wells that started in Q3 2017 had the best start; after 11 months they recovered on average 169 thousand barrels of oil.

Although lateral lengths haven’t changed much in North Dakota, proppant loadings have doubled in the past 4 years, to close to 1,000 lb/ft.

In our online analytics service, these trends can be easily analyzed by play and operator. Request a free trial here !

Next week I plan to have a new post on the Marcellus.


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 30 kbo/d)  is produced from conventional vertical wells.


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Edited by shaleprofile
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Not sure it's going to last, though: 

But as acreage within the Bakken Shale's core drilling areas in McKenzie, Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties nears depletion, operators will move on to wells in what are now fringe areas, with outputs averaging a fraction of the play's more currently prolific wells, according to a study from the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

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Well productivity is indeed much higher in the core, and there are already some core areas in which the negative impact of over drilling can be seen.

Thanks for the interesting link. I would caution though that the key metric they use ("Peak performance"), has a serious flaw; e.g. look at the production profiles for Oasis below (taken from our analytics service), and you'll find that recent wells, despite peaking far higher than earlier wells, or on a trajectory towards similar, or lower EUR. This is probably due to reservoir pressure issues (as can be seen from the rising GOR), which has steepened the declines significantly.


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