The Bakken Shale | April 2022
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
Total Rigs in North Dakota- 36 (+1)
Total Rigs in United States- 728 (+336)
Total U.S. Rigs 37.5% YTD
Bakken Top Producer
Top Producer By BOE – Marathon Oil
Crusoe Energy is a company that has been recognized by the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Initiative report for its innovative use of wasted flare gas from oil and gas operations. They operate in several states including in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado with various hydrocarbon producing facilities, using the gas to run bitcoin mining machines. A recent explosion at a facility in North Dakota was cause for concern among investors, however, Crusoe says their infrastructure on site is unaffected and will run as usual.
In a world where demand for oil is high, but many producers are hesitant to ramp up production, not many rigs are being added, especially in basins such as the Bakken. Hess, on the other hand, is said to be heavily considering adding a rig to their current four count set-up in the basin. Hess CEO John Hess has stated that the company’s main goal is to return most of their annual free cash flow to shareholders, followed by strengthening their balance sheet, and finally adding a rig to the Bakken to increase production. The current strength of the global oil market should allow them to add the rig by the end of the year.
As states try to increase production in the face of skyrocketing oil prices to bring down gas prices, some have run into roadblocks. One such roadblock is poor weather. North Dakota is the third most productive oil and gas producing state in the country, but also experiences bitter cold winter weather. A recent storm in the state knocked out 80% of all O&G operations for a few days, which resulted in the loss of several million barrels of oil. The winter storm causes issues with ice accumulation on rigs, blocked roads, and damage to electrical infrastructure. Producers are actively looking for ways to prepare for similar events, to ensure continuous supply of hydrocarbons to downstream facilities.
The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division (NDIC), has reported two weather related oil spills in the states largest basin the Bakken. One of which was caused by a fire and was followed by the release of 24 hundred barrels of produced water and 50 barrels of crude oil. The other was caused by a valve failure and resulted in 400 barrels of oil being leaked. KFYR reported that the spills were contained on site and cleanup is underway.
Top Producers By BOE
|Change||Rank||Company||MMBOE Production (2/22)|
North Dakota Oil Production
North Dakota Natural Gas
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