Forecasts for Bakken field. Part 1

Wow. I tripped across the PDF slides for the presentation by Mr. Lynn Helms, North Dakota’s Director of Mineral Resources, at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference on May 25, 2012. You can find the presentation on this page. The title is WBPC Activity.

A big thank you to Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem for pointing me to the PDF slide presentation.

Mr. Helms presentation is the source for many of the articles I’ve read and the resulting posts on this blog.

What is the very condensed message from the presentation?

The oil boom in North Dakota, which has seen production skyrocket to over 600,000 barrels per day, is just getting started.

Typical production from a well

Slide 10 has a graph of production from a typical Bakken well. Year one shows 923 barrels per day dropping by half the next year to 486 barrels. Year three drops by another 2/3 to 159 barrels. Then there is a slow slope from 99 barrels in year four to 50 barrels in year 10. Then there is a slow decline to about 16 barrels in year twenty settling down to 7 or 9 bopd in years 26 through 29.

What I learned from that graph is that production falls off really, really fast. Based on that data, about 38% of the oil comes up in the first year with another 20% in year two. By year four about two-thirds of the oil is up.

That means the radical growth curve in oil production in the last year or two across the field will not continue because a lot of those wells will start to see that drop-off in years two and three. Perhaps my estimate of hitting 1 million barrels per day by September 2013 is too optimistic. I will stand by it though.

Daily production levels

Slide 13 shows three scenarios of production. The proven curve looks like what production will be if the rigs in the field leave the field after finishing the current drilling. That would peak at 650,000 bopd and then decline. The probable estimate is 800,000 barrels which sustains through about 2022 and then declines. The possible scenario peaks at 1,100,000 bopd and sustains through about 2030 before declining.

Forecast of rigs in the field

The sustainable level of rigs looks to be about 240 which will run for another three or five years before declining to around 150 from 2018 through 2023.

Part 2 here.


Welcome to readers from Williston Wire and Million Dollar Way! Good to see you. Hope you enjoy the posts.

This discussion continues at Forecasts for Bakken field. Part 2

Here are a few other posts you might enjoy:

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