I was therefore thrilled to see this article, being reported by Reuters via Rigzone:
LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - North Dakota's rapidly rising oil output continues to defy the sceptics, who have predicted that production would stop growing as declining output from existing wells offsets extra production from new drilling.
Oil production soared to 911,000 barrels per day in August, up more than 200,000 bpd compared with the same month last year, the state's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said this week.
Production is on course to hit 1 million bpd by the end of the year or early 2014, according to the DMR.
By the end of August, 9,452 wells were in production. But another 450 had been drilled and were awaiting fracturing and completion.
Completions are running at about 1.5 times the threshold needed to maintain production, the DMR wrote in its monthly statement, which implies output will continue rising in the next few months as crews work through the backlog.This is a five-page internet report well worth reading.
The article goes on:
Shale sceptics have been confidently predicting since at least 2010, when output was below 300,000 bpd, that production would peak.
Only the DMR has struck a defiant and lonely optimistic note. In 2012 DMR projected output would plateau somewhere between 700,000 and 1.2 million bpd between 2015 and 2025, based on a total of up to 40,000 wells in the thermally mature part of the shale play.And more:
In practice, the shale sceptics have proved wrong on every point, revealing a fundamental lack of understanding about the geology, economics and technology of shale production.
With more experience of horizontal drilling and fracturing and more knowledge about the play, drilling and pumping crews have been able to drill deeper wells and longer laterals, reaching total depth more quickly and applying more fracturing treatments per well as well as learning to target only the most productive parts of the formation.
"In 2007, the average treatment number, or stage count, in Bakken wells was three. By the end of 2011, that number was nearly 30, and some wells had more than 40 stages in a single lateral," according to oilfield-services specialist Schlumberger. ("Multistage Stimulation in Liquid-Rich Unconventional Formations" 2013)
Rather than increasing relentlessly, the number of drilling rigs operating in the Bakken has fallen from over 200 in early 2012 to just over 180 in October 2013.
Bakken accounts for just 10 percent of the rigs drilling for oil and gas in the United States, according to basin-by-basin data published by another oilfield services company, Baker Hughes. Rising Bakken output is not putting pressure on the domestic rig market. Rig rates remain soft.I would like to provide the full article, but obviously that would be inappropriate. Go to the link for the full story. It even addresses the Red Queen.