Bakken News Pulse January 2021

Posted: February 17, 2021

The Bakken Shale| January 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 January)

Total Rigs in North Dakota- 12
Total Rigs in United States- 384
Total U.S. Rigs down 56% YTD

Bakken Top Producers

Top Gas Producer- Continental Resources, INC.
Top Oil Producer- Continental Resources, INC.

Basin Highlights

Spill Bill

Senate Bill 2064 was introduced to the North Dakota Senate in an attempt to hold corporate officers liable for oil and gas related violations. State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms requested a bill of this nature following recent environmental problems in their fields. Corporate Officers of some companies refused to fix issues or ultimately abandoned sites leaving the state to foot the bill which totaled more than $1 million for only 2 properties. Senate Bill 2064 died with a vote of 7-39. The North Dakota Petroleum Council and the Greater North Dakota Chamber lobbied against the bill as they felt it would create a negative climate for business and unfairly target the industry. Many Republicans echoed these concerns. As rep Jim Roers said, “We have corporations and partnerships that provide protections for certain individuals, and we felt by passing this bill we would violate those protections, and CEOs, boards of directors could now be held liable for things they would have very little knowledge of what was going on.”

Article Link

A Pore Law

January was a big win for landowners in the Bakken/North Dakota area as a judge struck down a “pore space” law from 2019. Essentially, this law addresses the valuation of void space left when fluids are extracted from the grounds, especially in the case of injection. The original law protected operators who wished to inject fluid back into the depleted pore spaces for no additional compensation. Many landowners appealed the decision saying that they felt these now voided pore spaces held monetary value. It was a tough battle from both sides, but Northeast District Judge Anthony Benson claimed this law was unconstitutional saying it “acts to give North Dakota landowners’ value from pore space to the oil and gas industry, for free, under the guise of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.” Oil and gas companies are still expected to push back on the issue, and it is certain that many appeals will be filled. This is likely not the last of this issue as it could easily gain federal attention.

Article Link

Top Gas Producers (2020 cum)

Hyperlinks to available Q3 2020 Reports

Top Oil Producers (2020 through)

Hyperlinks to available Q3 2020 Reports


North Dakota Production

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