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Visualizing North Dakota Oil & Gas Production (Through March 2020)

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 15,884 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through March.

Total production

North Dakota oil production fell in March by 3% to 1.38 million bo/d (horizontal wells only).  From a production point of view, the sharply deteriorating circumstances for the oil industry were not visible yet. In the first quarter this year, 281 wells came online (vs. 216 last year).

Supply Projection dashboard

Drilling activity has sharply declined in the past 2 months; last week, 26 rigs were drilling horizontal wells, according to the Baker Hughes rig count, which is only half the level compared to 1.5 months ago. In our publicly available Supply Projection dashboard you can see that this level of drilling would only sustain a long-term production capacity of just over 1 million bo/d:

Oil supply projection in North Dakota, with no changes in rig count or productivity.

If you missed our webinar on this dashboard, you can still find a recording here: Supply Projection webinar (YouTube)

Well productivity

You can analyze how well productivity has changed in the “Well quality” overview. You will find that there were major improvements until the end of 2017, but that progress has halted since.

This can also be easily viewed in the following graph, taken from ShaleProfile Analytics (Professional):

Well productivity in ND since 2016, by quarter

Top operators

The overall performance of the five largest operators can be found in the “Top operators” dashboard. Hess, the number 2, was the only major operator that has set a new production record this year, at 150 thousand bo/d.

Advanced Insights

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:

This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how these horizontal wells are heading towards their ultimate recovery. They are grouped by the year in which production started.


On Friday afternoon we will update our Supply Projection dashboard again, with the latest rig count and production numbers. In the 2nd half of 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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Enno Peters's picture

Thank Enno for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 7, 2020 4:07 pm GMT

Hess, the number 2, was the only major operator that has set a new production record this year, at 150 thousand bo/d.

Any thoughts as to what Hess was doing differently from the rest that allowed them to reach this distinction?

Enno Peters's picture
Enno Peters on May 14, 2020 2:12 pm GMT

Thanks for the question Matt. I see that its well performance is still a bit below that of Continental Resources over the long-term, but this is not so in the first few months (less choke?). Continental Resources brought more wells online, especially in March, but it may take 3-5 more months before those wells reach peak production.

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