Forecasts for Bakken field. Part 2

Previous post covered some of the info from a 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 PDFs from the presentation here.

Here is some more info I enjoyed from the presentation.

Possible number of new wells in North Dakota

Slide 13 indicates there are currently 3,382 completed wells in the Bakken and Three Forks fields. 

Number of possible new wells? 35,700.

That means the two fields could expand to about 39,000 wells. That’s growth equal to 10 times what has already been drilled in Bakken and Three Forks. That is astounding. There is ten times more drilling yet to do than has already been done.

Oil history jobs

The amazing thing is that production jobs are going to slowly increase and will replace all the current drilling jobs. I’m only starting to catch on to the oil business, so that is new info for me. Slides 14 and 16 share the same basic pattern.

The expected case shows drilling jobs staying at the current level until perhaps 2023 or 2025, at which point they will drop-off. In the meantime production jobs will slowly grow and sustain at a very high level.

Current employment is estimated at just under 40,000. That will grow steadily and peak at about 63,000 in 2020. That’s another eight years of growth. (To put that in perspective, the growth in the next 8 years may be equal to the Census Bureau’s current estimate of the population of Williston.)  Total employment will sustain at that level through about 2027. That’s a peak that runs for another seven years. Employment will drop-off over the next six years and level out at just over 50,000.

Unless the regulators shut down the industry, that is a boom that will run for another 15 or 17 years before falling back to a level 25% higher than current employment.

Outlook? Very good.

Looks to me like North Dakota would be very good place to buy a home for the long-term. The industry could see a 30 year run. Way cool.

And the run will only last for 30 years if there is never, ever any new technology to improve or enhance recovery.  That is a topic for another day.

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