The bigger you get in the Bakken the harder it is to maintain production levels.
By Dan Murtaugh -
Jan 11, 2013 3:03 PM MT
Oil output from North Dakota’s
portion of the Bakken shale formation slipped in November for
the first time in 20 months after producers began pulling rigs
out of the state.
Production declined 2.2 percent from October to 669,000
barrels a day, according to the North Dakota Industrial
Commission. It was the first month-to-month drop since April
2011. The decline closely followed a decline in rig counts in
the state, from 210 on Oct. 19 to 181 on Nov. 30, according to
data compiled by Smith Bits, a drilling products and services
provider owned by Houston- and Paris-based Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB)
Bakken wells tend to have steep decline rates because
they’re created with directional drilling and hydraulic
fracturing, James Williams, president of WTRG Economics in
London, Arkansas, said by telephone.
“The question is, are you drilling enough new wells to
make up for the decline?” he said. “With a little decline in
the rig count, and the very fast depletion rate of the wells,
it’s not terribly surprising that the Bakken production leveled
Increased production out of the Bakken, the Eagle Ford
formation in South Texas and the Permian Basin in West Texas
helped U.S. oil output exceed 7 million barrels in the week
ended Jan. 4 for the first time since 1993.
Production in the Williston basin, which includes the
Bakken, will rise to 1.19 million barrels a day by December 2014
from 840,000 in December 2012, the U.S. Energy Information
Administration said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook Jan. 8.