Bakken News Pulse January 2020

By sali
Posted: February 28, 2020

The Bakken Shale| January 2020

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 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- 42
Total Rigs in North Dakota- 52
Total Rigs in United States- 790
Total U.S. Rigs down 34% YTD

State Top Producers

Top Gas Producer-
Top Oil Producer-

Financial & Economic Updates

Bakken Production Expected to Soar with Added Gas Processing Capacity

North Dakota gas production set a new record, and flaring dropped, as did crude production. In all, six new plants are either coming online soon or already in operation. Mineral Resource Director, Lynn Helms, expects industry will meet or exceed the state’s 88 percent gas capture target soon. Still to come are the Demicks Lake Gas Plant, expansion of the Hess’ Tioga Gas Plant, and the recently announced Outrigger plant. The latter will begin with XTO production, which will help the Exxon Mobile subsidiary to develop the stalled Hofflund and Grinnell units. Once all three plants are online, Helms anticipates reaching 91 percent capture statewide. Which will allow for increased production across the basin.

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State Highlights

XTO Cements Long-Term Deal with Outrigger Energy Midstream

Outrigger Energy II announced plans gas pipeline and a cryogenic gas processing plant in the heart of North Dakota’s Bakken Formation. The company has inked a long-term deal with ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy to service its gas production in the county. Natural gas is produced during the drilling process, but North Dakota oil producers have “flared off” a high percentage of the gas due to infrastructural challenges of capturing all of it. Flaring reached a record high in June last year when producers burned off 24% of all gas produced during the month. The North Dakota Industrial Commission has set out a goal to flare only 9% by November 2020. The proposed plant would process 250 million cubic feet per day and help fight the flaring problem, said Alex Woodruff, Outrigger’s senior vice president of business development. The end product would be ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline, and the plant could potentially be expanded to handle a bigger volume, he said. Woodruff said the company plans for the facilities to be operational by the end of this year. Woodruff would not say how much the project will cost.

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Brine Spills Reported in McKenzie & Renville Counties

The McKenzie County spill occurred Saturday about 14 miles east of Watford City at a well operated by Landtech Enerprises. A valve failure caused the leak of 290 barrels of produced water, which is equal to 12,180 gallons. About four barrels migrated off the well site into pastureland. If enough brine is allowed to reach agricultural areas, the spills can render farmland infertile. The other spill occurred Tuesday about 2 miles north of Sherwood from a fiberglass pipeline operated by Cobra Oil & Gas Corp. The company estimates that 200 barrels of brine leaked into agricultural land. The cause of the spill remains under investigation.

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Top Gas Producers

(MMscf / Month)

Top Oil Producers



North Dakota Production

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