Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Continued drop in count of working oil rigs in North Dakota

Photo by James Ulvog.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Here is a recap of the North Dakota rig count, all from Million Dollar Way. Also, an article quantifying the impact on employment from the drop in rig count.

Some older data repeated for recent context:

  • 184 – 2/4/13
  • 190 – 2/4/14
  • 140 – 2/4/15
  • 93 – 4/17/15
  • 82 – 6/5
  • 73 – 7/9
  • 74 – 8/20
  • 71 – 9/15
  • 69 – 10/22
  • 65 – 11/23
  • 64 – 12/18
  • 65 – 12/23/15
  • 61 – 12/30/15
  • 58 – 1/5/16 – rig count breaches into the 50s
  • 54 – 1/7/16 – Mr. Helms estimate proved true in first week of January.
  • 51 – 1/13
  • 49 – 1/14 – Wow, that was a fast trip through the 50s
  • 49 – 1/20, per speech given by Mr. Helms
  • 1/20 – Mr. Helms thinks that if prices stay at the $25 range, rig count will drop to 30.
  • 47 – 1/21
  • 47 – 1/27
  • 45 – 1/29
  • 44 – 2/4/16
  • 40 – 2/9
  • 38 – 2/25
  • 35 – 3/1
  • 35 – 3/5
  • 32 – 3/11
  • 32 – 3/26 – has been at 32 for 2 weeks except for one day at 31
  • 29 – 4/3, after staying at 32 or 31 a while

4/4 – Rob Port – Say Anything Blog – North Dakota Oil Rig Count Under 30 – Rule of thumb used by most people is there are 145 in-state jobs generated from each working oil rig.

Keep in mind that another rule of thumb is that each completed oil well creates one full-time equivalent job for the next several decades.

For comparison, check out this rig count:

  • 107 – average number of rigs in April 2010
  • 186 – average number of rigs in April 2013
  • 188 – average number of rigs in April 2014
  • 91 – average number of rigs in April 2015
  • 29 – number of rigs on April 3, 2016

Using that estimate of 145 jobs per rig, here is the number of jobs and the change over the last two years:

  • date – est jobs – change
  • 4/10 – 15,515
  • 4/13 – 26,970 – 11,455 – change for three years
  • 4/14 – 27,260 – 290
  • 4/15 – 13,195 – (14,065)
  • 4/16 – 4,205 – (8,990)

In terms of production jobs, keep in mind that from 4/14 through 1/16 the number of producing wells is up 2,499, which means there are about 2,500 new jobs to service the new wells.

If the Saudi goal was to collapse oil production in North Dakota, they failed. Or at least there hasn’t been much progress after a year and a half.  If the goal was to collapse employment, they have made respectable progress.

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