Fortunately, drilling activity in North Dakota can be tracked in real time. North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), which regulates oil and gas drilling in the state, publishes comprehensive data on drilling permits in its Daily Activity Report, a monthly summary entitled the Director's Cut, as well as a daily list of rigs operating in the state, all on its website (www.dmr.nd.gov).
The department also publishes comprehensive monthly data on the number of wells and their daily output. In addition, public data is available on prices that Bakken producers are able to realise for their crude from buyers such as Plains Marketing, which posts standardised buying prices on its website (www.paalp.com), as well as from the DMR.It is a very, very good article, pretty much devoted to the Bakken. And best of all, it corroborated my comments regarding permitting.
The first point to note is that while oil prices have been falling since mid-June, the volume of drilling activity, as measured by applications for new permits, has shown no sign of slowing so far.
In October, exploration and production companies filed for permits to drill 328 new wells, the second-highest number on record.
In the weeks since then, there has been no clear evidence of a slowdown, according to the daily lists published by DMR.
The sharp drop in prices should eventually feed through into less drilling and slower output growth, but there is no sign of that happening yet. Prices will affect drilling only with a lag, since most rigs are contracted weeks and months in advance and are likely to continue operating until their current work programmes are complete. Once the current drilling programmes are complete, however, exploration and production companies are likely to contract for much smaller ones in future if prices do not rise.Actually, it appears the number of permits have started to slow down in the past six business days; we will know by the end of the month.
This will be Darlene Love's last year in which she will perform her Christmas classic on the David Letterman show. On her Facebook page, on December 2, 2014, she said there were 17 days left until she appeared for the last time on David Letterman -- that would make it Friday, December 19, 2014, I would guess, but don't hold me to that.