Another prediction for oil production in North Dakota: back off the accelerator a bit

I watch the Million Dollar Way blog closely. I’ve learned much from Mr. Bruce Oksol. Thank you sir.

In his post, Bakken Fanatics; Fasten Your Seatbelts – We’ve Not Seen Anything Yet, he mentions a Goldman Sachs study which predicts 10 years of continued growth in Bakken production. Their worst case scenario is 1.3M bopd in 2017.

More interesting is Mr. Oksol’s speculation that the state may slow things down a bit as an intentional choice.  He says:

My two cents worth: the roughnecks have the potential of getting 2 million bopd out of the Bakken, but the tea leaves suggest that “North Dakota” is ready to “slow it down.”

I think North Dakota will plateau just under one million bopd. Steady production at one million bopd is a nice conservative Scandinavian number. 

I don’t have any insight on that.

Keep in mind the rapid expansion has created a lot of pain and disruption. If a consensus developed to intentionally slow down a bit, I would certainly understand. 

Such a slow down would allow infrastructure to catch up. There is a lot of distress in housing (lack thereof and high prices for existing stock), shopping facilities, and entertainment options.  Slowing a little would also allow a bit of time to prove this is a very long-term expansion, not just a few years of boom-and-bust.

My guess?

Full steam ahead. If you are in the energy field, you just can’t ignore opportunities for 100% return on investment when there is near-zero chance of a dry hole.

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