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

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
  • 249 items added with 535,170 views
  • Jul 13, 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 16,012 horizontal wells in North Dakota that started production from 2005 onward, through May.

Total production

North Dakota oil production fell by 350 thousand bo/d in May to 0.85 million bo/d, an even larger decline than we saw in the previous month (200 kbo/d). The last time the state produced this much was 7 years ago.

About 5,000 horizontal wells did not produce any oil in May (a figure normally closer to 2,000). This image, taken from ShaleProfile Analytics (Professional), shows the location of all completed horizontal wells in North Dakota. They are colored by their oil production rate in May.

Horizontal wells in North Dakota – colored by the oil production rate in May

It clearly shows that huge areas were shut-in.

Directional surveys

We have made further progress on our mapping capabilities. For the states for which we have directional surveys (North Dakota, Colorado and most of Texas), the exact position of the wells are now shown on our maps.

See here for example the layout of 318 wells in the Reunion Bay field (ND), which is operated by Marathon and WPX:

The location and performance of 318 horizontal wells in Reunion Bay field

The surface locations are easily marked and the wells are colored from their Landing Point onward.

Directional survey data is now also part of our ShaleProfile Data service.

Top operators

Continental Resources and ConocoPhillips were the only 2 operators in the top 5 which decided to shut in the majority of their wells in May, as you’ll find the last tab. By not doing so, Hess became the largest operator in May, with an output of almost 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. You can already see that the profiles start tipping downward, due to the extra shut-ins. This is more clearly visible if you group the data by quarter or month.

Well status map

In the well status map dashboard (the 3rd tab) you can easily find the locations where operators have shut-in wells (click on the “Inactive” status in the color legend to highlight those areas).


Early next week we plan to have a new post on the Permian. We’re currently developing well spacing and well economics modules for our online analytics service, about which I will soon be able to share more with you!


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 Jul 13, 2020

North Dakota oil production fell by 350 thousand bo/d in May to 0.85 million bo/d, an even larger decline than we saw in the previous month (200 kbo/d). The last time the state produced this much was 7 years ago.

In the words of Nate Silver, I'm curious to ask your take-- is this signal or noise? Is this the start of a trend that won't reverse, or do you expect production to recover nicely to where it was before? 

Enno Peters's picture
Enno Peters on Jul 22, 2020

I do think that many shut-ins will be reversed, but whether North Dakota will see new production records in the near future, I have no idea.

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