The Bakken Shale| December 2019
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 breakeven point at US$62/bbl. The top formations within the region are the Three Forks and the Spanish formations.
State Drilling Statistics
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 51
Total Rigs in North Dakota- 49
Total Rigs in United States- 781
Total U.S. Rigs down 27% YTD
State Top Producers
Top Gas Producer- Continental
Top Oil Producer- Continental
Financial & Economic Updates
Harold Hamm, Shale Pioneer, Steps Down as CEO of Continental Resources
Billionaire shale drilling pioneer Harold Hamm is retiring as chief executive of the oil and- gas company he founded, Continental CLR -2.66% Resources Inc. Mr. Hamm, who turned 74 on Wednesday, will remain at Continental in the role of executive chairman, the company said Wednesday, as board member William Berry, 66, assumes the role of CEO in January. The son of Oklahoma sharecroppers, Mr. Hamm built Continental into one of the largest independent U.S. oil companies, searching for oil in areas others had ignored or overlooked. It is now the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, an oilfield that had been discovered decades earlier but was considered too challenging to exploit. Mr. Hamm, who is Continental’s largest shareholder, indicated that he plans to retain his holdings in the company. He described Mr. Berry as a confidant and adviser.
North Dakota Industrial Commission OKs order targeting gas capture, flaring
State regulators green-lighted a measure Tuesday, Dec. 17, aimed at speeding up investments in the transportation and processing of natural gas, an effort they hope will reduce wasteful flaring in the Bakken. Flaring reached an all-time high this summer in North Dakota, and the most recent data show just 82% of gas produced is captured at well sites while the rest is burned off. That falls below the statewide target of 88%, which will jump to
91% next November. If companies don’t meet the goals, the state can impose penalties.The commission, which is chaired by the governor and regulates the oil and gas industry, approved an order that lets producers and companies that purchase their gas enter into contracts that allow for “firm service.” A firm commitment guarantees space for the producer’s gas on systems such as pipelines.
OPEC+ Gambles That US Shale’s Golden Age Is Over
For years, OPEC ignored the rise of the U.S. shale industry and came to regret its mistake. Now, the group is making another bold gamble on America’s oil revolution: that its golden age is over. When the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets this week, ministers will discuss whether to extend their current output target, rather than reduce it, according to people familiar with the internal debate. The reason? They believe relentless U.S. oil production growth will slow rapidly next year. OPEC isn’t alone. Across the industry, oil traders and executives believe U.S. production will grow less in 2020 than this year, and at a significantly slower rate than in 2018. On paper, the cartel has the oil market under control. Brent crude has been trading around $60 a barrel for most of 2019, about 14% higher than at the start of the year but well below the peak of $75.60 a barrel set in late April. “Saudi Arabia is doing a reasonable job to balance the market,” said Marco Dunand, head of commodity trading house Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. He has some words of warning too: “OPEC will need to watch U.S. production very closely.”
Top Gas Producers
Top Oil Producers
North Dakota Production
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