July oil: 27,147,818 barrels = 875,736 barrels/day
Aug oil: 28,248,511 barrels = 911,242 barrels/day (preliminary)(NEW all-time high)
Remember: "just for the fun of it" I am projecting possible production numbers through the rest of the year at this post. Only because it gets more and more difficult to increase production by more than 2 or 3 percent each month in the Bakken, we will be hard pressed to get to a million bopd by the end of the year. But, based on 2012 figures, if "we" have a decent November, (flat to positive), we could actually see a million bopd by the end of the year. We won't know until the February, 2014, Director's Cut -- the data lags by two months.
With regard to the number of wells and production per well, from the NDIC website and the Director's cut:
Daily oil per well (all wells in North Dakota):
- 2000: 27 bopd/well
- 2001: 26 bopd/well
- 2002: 25
- 2003: 24
- 2004: 26
- 2005: 29
- 2006: 31
- 2007: 33 -- The Bakken boom on the ND side of the MT-ND state line began in 2007
- 2008: 41
- 2009: 48
- 2010: 58
- 2011: 64
- 2012: 80
- December, 2006: 35
- December, 2007: 74
- December, 2008: 130
- December, 2009: 124
- December, 2010: 133
- December, 2011: 144
- June, 2012: 144
- December, 2012: 140
- June, 2013: 128
The drilling rig count decreased only slightly from Jul to Aug, but the number of well completions fell sharply from 251 to 130. The result still was a 4% increase in oil production because the number of completions was about 1.5 times the threshold needed to maintain production. Completion crews kept pace with drilling rigs as the average number of days to drill a well from spud to total depth remaining steady at about 22, but the average number of days from total depth to initial production rose from 79 to 105.The significant decline in the number of well completions is probably due almost entirely to pad drilling. I am unaware of any significant weather issues or regulatory issues in North Dakota that could have accounted for that drop from 251 to 130.
I would assume there is going to be a lot of pressure to complete those last few wells on any given pad before winter sets in and slows down fracking. For example: if an operator has 12 wells on a 14-well pad on DRL status, waiting for wells #13 and #14 to reach total depth before fracking all 14 wells, there must be a lot of pressure to get those last two wells to total depth, so all fourteen wells can be fracked. That's a long time for well #1 of those 14 wells to be on DRL status waiting for first production. I read once that at least one operator says they will frack wells on a multi-well pad once a given well reaches total depth, regardless of the status of the other wells. I may be wrong, but it seems most operators wait until all wells on a multi-well pad reach total depth before fracking them all. Again, that's just a wild-ass guess; I could be way wrong.
The NDIC estimates 450 wells are waiting to be fracked, a decrease of 10 from the previous month. It appears many (most?) of these wells waiting to be fracked are due to operational reasons, and not because frack spreads are behind schedule.
Also from the Director:
Drilling permit activity was up in August and September, and will remain high through October as we help operators plan for winter. The goal is to have a sufficient permit inventory to accommodate multi-well pads through the end of load restrictions in 2014 as well as the time required to deal with federal hydraulic fracturing rules if required.
The number of rigs actively drilling on federal surface in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands remains at 0.Remember: takeaway capacity is adequate with both rail and pipeline. This report covers the month of August. The southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline should be operational sometime in November. We won't now until January/February time frame how this pipeline will affect production in the Bakken.