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Visualizing North Dakota Oil & Gas Production (Through October 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
  • 254 items added with 545,706 views
  • Dec 8, 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

Total production

Oil production in North Dakota fell by 1% in October to just below 1.2 million bo/d, despite that more than 100 temporarily shut-in wells were brought back online. The main reason for the drop was that between May and October only 1 well was completed every day, on average, far below the level required to maintain current output (~3 wells/day).

Permitting activity

We’ve just released a new dashboard in our ShaleProfile Analytics service (Professional) in which permitting activity can be easily viewed. This chart shows the number of approved permits for horizontal wells in North Dakota by status:

Permits for horizontal wells in North Dakota since 2010

Permitting activity in October (93) was the highest for this year.

The next chart, from the same dashboard, reveals which companies have been permitting the most since July this year:

Ranking of operators in North Dakota by number of permits since July

Continental Resources, also the number one in terms of output, is in the lead with 56 permits approved since July.

The original dashboard also has an interactive map, so clicking e.g. on an operator will reveal the exact locations of the permitted wells.

The first feedback we got on this dashboard was rather positive:

“The permitting activity dashboard is the BOMB! Your continue to just blow me away with what SP can do!” – John Skees

Thank you John!

Supply projection

Last week there were 10 rigs drilling horizontal wells in North Dakota (according to the Baker Hughes rig count). As you can learn from our Supply Projection dashboard, at this level production will keep trending downward:

Tight oil production in ND, based on current drilling activity and rig/well productivity.

If nothing else changes (which it surely will), we project a drop to 0.5 million bo/d by the end of the decade.

Well status

In the “Well status” tab you can find that in October just over 2,100 wells were inactive (their output was 0), down from the 4,334 in May, but still quite a bit above the January level (1,582).

Top operators

The top-10 producers in the state can be found in the final tab (“Top operators”). Enerplus, the number 10, has the 4th ranking in permitting activity so far in the 2nd half of this year (see above).

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.

A steep decline is visible in some of the older vintages. We will learn in the coming months how much of that was temporary due to the adverse conditions this year.


Early next week we plan to 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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LinkedIn: ShaleProfile

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Enno Peters's picture
Thank Enno for the Post!
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