One year ago, there were 190 rigs actively drilling for oil in North Dakota; today: 67.
One year ago, the term "fracklog" did not exist; today there are almost 1,000 DUCs in the Bakken.
One year ago, producers were pumping as fast as they could; today, they are choking back.
One year ago, producers were pumping as fast as they could, getting 105 bbls/well/day; today they've cut back to get 94 bbls/well/day. We haven't seen 94 on a sustained basis since the early days of the boom.
One year ago, there were upwards of 300 new oil permits each month; now, half that number.
One year ago, North Dakota was producing 1.1 million bopd; today North Dakota is producing 1.2 million bopd.
Look at that: one year ago, 192 active rigs, and all that truck traffic, and North Dakota was producing 1.1 million bopd. Today, a year later, more oil is being produced, fracking is at a standstill, and only 67 rigs are actively drilling (readers will tell us the number is actually lower -- many of the rigs are being moved and not drilling at the moment).
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is barely able to increase production despite maximum efforts including an increase in the number of their rigs.
Unfettered, North Dakota could easily produce 2.2 million bopd (Bentek). (I think that was low-balled, by the way.)
At 2.2 million bopd, drilling in the Bakken was estimated to continue through 2030, and production through 2100.
At 1.1. million bopd:
- activity in the North Dakota oil patch will become "business as usual"
- active drilling will be extended by decades
- production will be extended well past 2100
- resources will become available for increased oil and gas infrastructure
- resources will become available for oil and gas projects, like petro-chemical plants
- resources will become available for non-oil projects
- crummy motels in Williston will close; the better motels will become better
- crummy man-camps and crummy motels-on-the-prairie will close; the nice man-camps will become nicer
- there will be less traffic on all those new four-lane divided highways and bypasses in western North Dakota
- even with relaxed flaring rules, there will be less flaring
Blue Skies From Now On
But doesn't that just blow you away? 67 rigs vs 200 rigs a year ago; 1,000 DUCs; wells being abandoned; permits being canceled; wells being choked back; and North Dakota production in August, 2015, exceeded North Dakota production in August, 2014.
And QEP getting read to site 24 wells in one section. Just saying.