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Visualizing North Dakota Oil & Gas Production (Through July 2021)

Enno Peters's picture
CEO, ShaleProfile

Background in AI, worked on developing Supply Chain Planning & Optimization solutions for Quintiq, setting up its business in China. Focus on company direction and the technical development...

  • Member since 2018
  • 254 items added with 545,782 views
  • Sep 10, 2021

This article contains still images from the interactive dashboards available in the original blog post. To follow the instructions in this article, please use the interactive dashboards. Furthermore, they allow you to uncover other insights as well.

Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 16,576 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through July.

Total production

Oil production in North Dakota from horizontal wells fell m-o-m by 50 thousand bo/d in July (5%). Although 46 wells began producing in July, the same number as in June, their average initial performance was poorer than usual, which explains about half of the decline. Natural gas production fell as well, to 2.8 Bcf/d.

Supply projection

As of last week, 22 rigs have been drilling horizontal wells in the state (according to Baker Hughes), the highest number since April last year. Our supply projection dashboard shows that still a few more rigs are required to maintain current output:

Tight oil outlook in North Dakota, by county, based on the current rig count and well/rig productivity.

Well productivity

In the 3rd tab (Well quality), you can view how average well productivity has changed over time in North Dakota.  The 2020 vintage wells are so far outperforming earlier wells. Based on our production forecasts, which we generate on well level whenever new production data comes in, we can also see that in the core of the Bakken, wells from last year are forecasted to have the best performance so far:

The 20-year oil production forecasts for all wells in the 4 core counties, by vintage. Horizontal wells since 2013 only.

As you can find in the right-hand chart, these wells from 2020 are forecasted to produce over 0.5 million barrels of oil within their first 20 years on production, on average. After 20 years, they will have declined to a production rate of about 12 b/d.

Water production

The following overview, from our Water Production dashboard, shows the water/oil ratio for all the wells in the 4 core Bakken counties, while in the top-right graph the total amount of produced oil (green) and water (blue) produced is displayed, as well as the water/oil ratio (yellow):

Water/oil ratio in the core 4 Bakken counties. Horizontal wells with a production start since 2007 only.

In July, 1.5 barrels of water were produced for each barrel of oil (displayed in yellow, right-hand axis), the highest number in over a decade. This was likely an aberration, but this metric is trending ever higher.

Top operators

The final tab shows the production history and location of the top 12 operators in North Dakota. The output from Continental Resources, the number 1, has fallen to 150 thousand b/d in July, down by 25% from the peak in November 2019 (205 kb/d).


Next week we will have a new post on the Permian.


For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • DMR of North Dakota. These presentations only show the production from horizontal wells; a small amount (about 40 kbo/d) is produced from conventional vertical wells.

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight:

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