Friday, January 17, 2014

A Nice Update On Williston In The International Business Times

A reader sent me the link to this story in the International Business Times: how the oil industry is transforming a small North Dakota town -- Williston. (I couldn't get this article to open in Firefox; I had to use Safari.)

Wow, what a great story, a real breath of fresh air. I particularly enjoyed the first of two photographs that accompany the photo, an aerial photo of the industrial parks on the west side of town. It may be hard for folks to realize, but this was all ranch land, farm land, or pasture with some minor exceptions just two years ago. Two years ago I was driving around this area, among the Caterpillars that were moving the dirt, building roads, and pads for new buildings.

Some operators, that built then, have had to rebuild in new locations or expand in their original locations to meet ever-increasing requirements. The best examples were Baker Hughes and Schlumberger. That is quite a photograph at the linked article.

And it is just one area in Williston that has grown over the past two years. There are similar areas north, south, and east of Williston. In fact, there was a whole "new town" going up several miles north of Williston; the city added another 4,000 acres or something like that north of Williston in the past couple of years; I forget the details.

A well costs about $10 million. About 200 wells are drilled each month. Most of that money, I assume, is spent in the Bakken, not elsewhere. $2,000 million is $2 billion every month going into the Bakken every month, and this has been going on since 2007, at least to some extent. It started to really take off in 2010.

Perhaps the best metric is the number of active rigs drilling on any given day. The NDIC recently added historical data when providing the daily count:

Active Rigs18718520116380

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