The Bakken Shale | September 2021
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- 23
Total Rigs in United States- 528
Total U.S. Rigs up 98% YTD
Bakken Top Producer
Top Producer By BOE – Continental Resources
Dakota Access has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to reconsider whether the largest pipeline out of the North Dakota oil field needed further environmental review. Last year, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia cancelled the pipeline’s primary environmental permit and ordered a new environmental study. Following months of demonstrations by environmentalists, Native American tribes, and their supporters, the pipeline was put into service in 2017. Opponents claimed that the project desecrated ancient artifacts and endangered Lake Oahe, a vital drinking source, as well as the greater Missouri River.
Comstock Resources, owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, has agreed to sell its Bakken basin assets to Northern Oil and Gas for $154 million in order to raise finance. To offset investor pressure, oil and gas companies have been trying to sell assets to take advantage of rising commodity prices, as well as strengthen cash reserves on their balance sheets for dividends and buybacks. The sale includes a non-operated working interest in over 400 wells with a daily production rate of approximately 4,500 net barrels of oil equivalent. The divestiture is expected to result in a pre-tax loss of $130 million to $140 million, according to Comstock.
Whiting Petroleum has completed the purchase of extra net acres in Mountrail County for an estimated $271 million from an unknown seller. The purchase will add 61 new drilling locations to Whiting’s Bakken portfolio, but will have no effect on present production. Assuming a two-rig drilling program at $50 oil, this extends the company’s top-tier drilling inventory by six years. Whiting sold its Colorado holdings in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, valued at around $187 million, to help pay for the Bakken acquisition. Whiting used its $750 million revolving loan facility to cover the net difference of the sale, which he estimated to be roughly $90 million.
Top Producers By BOE
|Rank||Company||MMBOE Production (8/21)|
North Dakota Production
North Dakota Natural Gas
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