Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Shaleprofile Posts November, 2019, Bakken Data -- January 14, 2020

To make it easier to google, I'm bringing a reader's comment up to the main body of the blog. A reader sent this comment to an earlier post:
Shaleprofile is up with their ND info for November. They regularly get the info a little early and have matched the NDIC a few days later.


This month, they didn't give us the exact info on total production (about 1.5 MM bopd) versus hz only (gave exact number). Their focus is really the hz wells. In the past, they have sometimes given the exact overall info as well. But in any case, sounds like a very small drop, about 1,000 bopd. So essentially flat. Gas was up and broke 3.1 MM bopd.

Good article overall, but some small crit/comments:

1. He notes DUC depletion but I would be a bit wary of interpreting that:

(A) He uses Frac Focus, but doesn't model it like EIA does. This might be better than how ND does it. But it's prone to a lag error (like TX production). You can see this if you look at how the OCT19 number of DUCs changed from last month to this month. Grew from 725 to 744. In comparison, the OCT18 numbers had no change (767 and 767).

(b) There seems to be some seasonality of DUCs. Building in the winter when it is harder to do completions than to drill and then falling from ~May to ~NOV. So you can't really intuit a general trend when looking at such seasonality. In fact the OCT19 number (744, perhaps not yet final, may go up more) is not that different from the OCT18 number (767, looks final).

2. Says well quality unchanged since 2017. I think this is close to fair. Especially in contrast to the massive improvements prior to that (while the peak oilers were saying sweet spots were done many years ago!). That said, the "cum" view does show s small improvement from 17 to 18. And a tiny improvement from 18 to 19. You know the peak oilers would be talking about getting worse, if those changes had gone the other way!

3. There is a very interesting figure at the bottom of the article where he shows a view not normally published. Shows the DUCs by year spudded. I get the following inferences:

A. Most of the DUCs are normal inventory. Relatively few "dead DUCs". In contrast to the peaker complainers. That said there are probably some dead DUCs.

B. 2016 has almost no DUCS left. 2015 has guite a lot. Seems to show that 2016 was only sweet spot drilling (mix enrichment) and thus had no dead DUCs. 2015 in contrast has a higher percentage and absolute number of dead DUCs. This despite more time. So there may be some dead DUCs still in there.

C. Pretty small amount of 2014 and before DUCs.

D. Presumably looking at abandonmment (temp and permanent) would also be revealing, but I haven't structured this analysis and may lack the paid version to really investigate this.

4. As usual, there is sort of a straddling the line on EUR ("ultimate return") where he claims a log rate to cum plot gives insights on EUR, but doesn't commit to an interpretation. In the past, the peakers have gone to town a bit on this view, without detailing their assumptions.

I track the DUCs and inactive wells at this post. Those are the data points provided by the NDIC.

I update status of DUCs going all the way back to 2010, check up on DUCs about once every month. I go to the various pages linked at that post and scroll through, looking for SI/NC (DUCs) and then update them. The reader is correct: the operators have done a great job completing those DUCs. There is a two-year deadline to get DUCs completed.

Wells reported in 4Q for three years:
  • 4Q18: three DUCs, one pad; one DUC that was never expected to produce;  
  • 4Q17: no DUCs
  • 4Q16: no DUCs
It should be noted that my data is based on wells coming off confidential list and reported by the NDIC in daily activity report. If there are wells that were not on the confidential list and not reported on the daily activity list, I would not have that data. 

Unless I'm missing something Shaleprofile provides a "snapshot" in time with what is going on in the Bakken. Possibly there is more of an analysis / narrative regarding the trends in the Bakken for those who have access to the full report.

If the numbers are correct, crude oil production drops 1,000 bopd and natural gas hits 3.1 bcf/d, we should see another all-time "boepd" record.

To put this November data in context, see EIA's dashboard. This will download as a pdf.

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