Williston News Pulse February 2023

Posted: March 5, 2023

The Williston Basin | February 2023

Field Overview

The Williston Basin is a large sedimentary basin along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in western North Dakota, eastern Montana, and southern Saskatchewan, Can. The basin is characterized by thick sequences of sediments that underlie an area of about 110,000 square miles, and it is geologically closely related to the Alberta Basin in Canada. The first wells in the Williston were drilled in the 1936, and by 1954, 80% of possible producing acreage had been leased.

State Drilling Statistics

Active Drilling Rigs in Basin – 42 (-)
Total Rigs in North Dakota – 41 (-)
Total Rigs in United States- 746 (-14)
Total U.S. Rigs 13% YTD

Williston Top Producer

Top Producer – Continental Resources

Basin Highlights

Bakken Natural Gas Price Hits Lowest Level since 2020 Amid Regional Supply Glut

On February 16, natural gas price at TC Energy Corp’s Northern Border pipeline fell to $1.91/Mcf, which is the lowest the index has posted since 2020. The oil-to-gas commodity price ratio in the areas is about 40-to-1, which disincentivizes hydrocarbon producers from drastically reducing their routing flaring and to stick to flaring reduction targets. Devon reported seeing an average realized natural gas price in the Williston Basin of 44 cents/Mcf in Q4 of 2022 as opposed to an average price of $5.57/Mcf in the Powder River Basin.

Oilfield Pipeline Spill Contamines Range Land, Creek Near Williston

5,500 barrels (or 231,000 gallons) of produced water were spilled about six miles northeast of Williston on February 13. The cause of the spill is still under investigation, but the produced water appears to have flowed over 100 feet of rangeland and into Stockyard Creek. The leaked produced water came from a pipeline that experienced a mechanical failure, and the ongoing leak was reported by Greyson Mill Operating. 

Bakken Looking to Recruit Workers from Out-of-State

Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, indicated that production in the last part of December 2022 was down because of unusually cold weather. He mentions that one in five North Dakotans works directly or indirectly for the oil and gas industry. He indicated that North Dakota is desperate for work and is willing to accept those willing to work from out of state or even out of the country and mentioned the need for immigration reform to achieve this end.

Top Producers

RankCompanyJanuary Production (MBO)
1Continental Resources5,949
2Chord Energy4,541
4Marathon Oil2,259

Rig Count

North Dakota Oil Production

North Dakota Natural Gas

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