Friday, August 16, 2019

Number Of Wells In The Bakken Off-Line, Inactive, DUCs Are Near An All-Time Record -- August 16, 2019

I track DUCs and wells off-line for operational reasons here.

In March, 2019, a record number of wells were either DUCs or off-line for operational reasons: 2,665.

The following two months, the numbers dropped.

However, in the most recent reporting period, June, 2019, the number of wells off-line again increased. As of June, 2019, 2,536 wells are off-line. That's about three years worth of drilling in the Bakken. About 850 wells are drilled, completed, brought on line each each in North Dakota with WTI in the $55 range. 

I don't have the ability or time to track production of wells coming back on line on a statistical meaningful and accurate way, but this is my gut feeling. When middle Bakken and Three Forks first bench wells are taken off line for operational reasons and then brought back on line:
  • less than 1% come back with a production rate less than what it was before they went off line;
  • 50% come back at the same production rate compared to when they first came off line;
  • 40% come back with a slight-to-moderate increase in production; and,
  • 10% come back with a huge jump in production.
The first six months, and especially the first three months after a DUC is completed, the production of that well is at its best. I have come to expect a crude oil production rate of 20,000 bbls/month in the first full month of production after a DUC is reported as completed.

Back of the envelope:
  • inactive well count: = 1,500: 90 bbls/well/day = 135,000 bopd being stored underground;
  • completed DUCs = 1,000; 700 bbls/well/day = 700,000 bopd being stored underground
  • total: 835,000 bopd
  • 835,000 / 1,400,000 = 60%
  • my assumptions are often wrong
  • almost nothing is static in the Bakken
  • I often make simple arithmetic errors
  • in a note like this, there will be factual and typographical errors
  • in a blog like mine, it is difficult to separate fact from truth, as Sleepy Joe would say
  • in a blog like mine, it is also difficult to separate fact from opinion
  • I am inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. And I don't refund any part of the cost of the subscription. LOL.

  2. Personally prefer truth over facts :-)

    1. As for me, I don't let facts stand in the way of my world view. LOL.