Bakken News Pulse June 2021

Posted: July 15, 2021

The Bakken Shale | June 2021

Field Overview

Named after Henry Bakken, the farmer who owned the land where oil was originally discovered, the Bakken Shale is located in North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The USGS estimated in 2013 that this basin has an expected ultimate recovery of 7.4 billion barrels. North Dakota Department of Natural Resources put the break even point at US$46/bbl (2020). The top formations within the region are the Three Forks and the Spanish formations.

State Drilling Statistics (End of 7/9)

Total Rigs in North Dakota- 18
Total Rigs in United States- 479
Total U.S. Rigs up 86% YTD

Bakken Top Producers

Top Producer By BOE – Continental Resources

Basin Highlights

Oasis Focuses on the Bakken

Oasis Petroleum has left the Permian Basin, selling its properties in West Texas and southeast New Mexico and relocating its activities to the Bakken region of North Dakota. On May 20, Oasis Petroleum announced that it had entered into multiple agreements to sell its Permian assets for a total of $481 million, including $406 million at closing and $25 million in contingent payments in 2023, 2024, and 2025 if the price of West Texas Intermediate averages $60 per barrel each year. Oasis acquired properties in the Williston Basin in northern North Dakota from Diamondback Energy for around $745 million a month ago, adding 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent output per day and 95,000 acres for the first quarter of 2021. The change, according to Oasis Chief Executive Officer Danny Brown, is meant to boost the company’s returns for investors.

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New Mexico to Displace North Dakota as Second Largest Producer

North Dakota has been the country’s second-largest oil producer for nine years, but it is in danger of losing that position as New Mexico’s oil production surges. According to one report, North Dakota has already dropped to third position. “It’s a horse race,” said Lynn Helms, the natural resources director for North Dakota. Texas continues to be the nation’s top producer of crude oil. The Permian Basin, which stretches over parts of New Mexico and Texas, is perhaps North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch’s biggest rival. The Bakken oil-producing region is closer to large refineries and export terminals than the southern oil-producing zone, and therefore attracts significant drilling and investment in the oil and gas industry.

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New Disposal Site for Radioactive Oilfield Waste

The oil industry in North Dakota no longer has to carry all of its radioactive waste out of state, thanks to the opening of a disposal facility in McKenzie County, and more sites may be on the way. Various firms have sought for years to get authority to dispose of radioactive oil field waste in North Dakota, but have been unsuccessful. As a result, trucks transport approximately 100,000 tons of the waste to landfills in other states each year. The majority of it is sent to a processing facility at Glendive, Montana, with smaller portions going to Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. It has been illegally dumped in western North Dakota at times. It’s not a landfill, but one idea just received both local and state authorization. In April, KT Enterprises began burying the waste at a site near Johnsons Corner, east of Watford City, hundreds of feet underground. A “slurry well” is what KT Enterprises is operating. The waste is mixed with saltwater, another undesired byproduct of oil and gas production, and injected into the Minnelusa and Amsden rock formations at a depth of 7,500 feet. The oil industry in other states, such as Louisiana and Alaska, uses the same disposal procedure.

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Top Producers By BOE (2021 cum)

RankCompanyYTD BOE Production (as of 2/21)
1Continental Resources80,874
Hyperlinks to available Q1 2021 Reports

Rig Count

North Dakota Production

North Dakota Natural Gas

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