Williston News Pulse June 2023

Posted: July 18, 2023

The Williston Basin | June 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 1936, and by 1954, 80% of possible producing acreage had been leased.

State Drilling Statistics

Active Drilling Rigs in Basin – 35 (-1)
Total Rigs in North Dakota – 35 (-1)
Total Rigs in the United States- 675 (-7)
Total U.S. Rigs 10.7% YTD

Williston Top Producer

Top Producer – Continental Resources

Basin Highlights

Ovintiv Closes Purchase of Midland, Sale of Bakken Assets

Ovintiv has closed its purchase of Black Swan Oil and Gas, PetroLegacy Energy, and Piedra Resources, all of which are EnCap-backed firms. This $4.275 billion acquisition adds 65,000 acres to Ovintiv’s portfolio, all of which is in the core of Midland Basin and most of which is offset of Ovintiv’s existing acreage. Contemporaneously, Ovintiv closed the sale of its Bakken assets to Grayson Mill Bakken LLC, another EnCap firm, for $825 million.

EIA: Lower 48 Oil, Gas Production Growth to Slow in July

The EIA recently said that it expects oil production growth to slow significantly in the major US basins in July as compared to previous months. The Permian, for example, is only slated to bring on an incremental 1,000 bbl/d in July as compared to June. The EIA expects production growth to be higher in the Bakken, interestingly. The forecast is for an incremental 7,000 bbl/d of production to be brought online in the Bakken in July. However, this is a lesser increment than the 12,500 additional bbl/d that the Bakken added from May to June. Production in the Eagle Ford is expected to decrease by 5,000 bbl/d.

*Chord Energy Leads Consolidation Trend to the Williston Basin

In late May, Chord announced that they will purchase 62,000 underdeveloped acres from XTO in North Dakota for $375 million. This will provide 123 X 2-mile drilling locations and allows for 6 X 2-mile DSUs to be lengthened to 3 miles. Chord achieves about an 80 bbl/ft average EUR for its Middle Bakken wells, which is slightly above all of its peers with the exception of Continental Resources (who achieves 86 bbl/ft). Its EUR/ft metric seems to be increasing over time, but the average lateral length per well has stalled. With this new acquisition, more 15,000-foot wells will be drilled and this metric is likely to increase.

Top Producers

RankCompanyApril Production (MBO)
1Continental Resources6,661
2Chord Energy4,699
4Marathon Oil2,615

Rig Count

North Dakota Oil Production

North Dakota Natural Gas

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