News from Bakken oil patch

Rig in western North Dakota. Photographer was given tour of site resulting in many nice photos. “Oil Rig” by Lindsey G is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A few tidbits from western North Dakota:

  • More signs of a rebound
  • Amy Dalrymple joins staff of Bismarck Tribune
  • Dakota Access Pipeline begins commercial operations

6/3/17 – Star Tribune – North Dakota oil industry shows signs of a rebound – Drilling and employment is picking up in the North Dakota oil patch. Article illustrates this by telling the tale of several guys who have been out of work for a while but have been rehired.

Several analysts are quoted saying the industry is bouncing back.

Interesting stats in the article:

  • An oil rig is 13 stories tall, weighs 275 tons, and costs somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000 per day to operate.
  • Rig count: 51 now, 218 at high point in December 2012, 27 at low point in May 2016.
  • Oilfield employment in the state is 16,400 in April 2017, which is up 10% over same month in 2016.
  • Online postings for open jobs were at the highest in April over the last year and are up 94% from prior year. A trade group representative says there are likely 1,000 open oil jobs in western North Dakota.
  • Total production in Bakken is down 1.5% in the last 12 months. Meanwhile production in the Permian basin is up 25% in the last year.

Efficiency drivers:

  • Six wells on one pad is common now; two on a pad was rare early in the boom.
  • Time to drill a well to total depth is between 13 and 18 days now compared to 43 days a decade ago.
  • Each rig in operation is generating 38% more oil in the last year. Yeah, I double checked the comment – that is the increased productivity in one year.

6/1/17 – Bismarck Tribune – Dalrymple joins Tribune staff – Amy Dalrymple is a reporter/writer in North Dakota who has been freelancing and selling her articles to multiple papers in North Dakota. She is prolific in her writing. I have only a vague idea of how much time it would take to write a serious article of sellable quality. She posts a huge number of articles.

There is a small handful of writers whose work I will read merely because they have the byline – Ms. Dalrymple is one of those. If you have interest in North Dakota, Bakken, or oil, you really ought to keep an eye out for her writing.

I am amazed at her production level.

Congratulations to her on joining the staff of the Bismarck Tribune.

“Rig” by Lindsey G is licensed under CC BY 2.0

6/2/17 – Williston Herald – Oil Flowing through Dakota Access pipeline – Testing is complete.

Oh, about that “leak” you heard about in DAPL. It occurred during pressure testing, to make sure the pipeline could handle more than the planned pressure. There was a containment crew on hand to clean up the leak.

Also, had you hear about the massive size of the leak? Yeah, neither had I.

It was twenty gallons. Not 20 barrels. Twenty gallons. Less than half a barrel.

The pipeline owner announced the pipeline is fully operational.

There are six terminals in the Bakken area and several mid-stream companies have tie-ins to the pipeline so they can feed directly.

Lynn Helms estimates that producers will be able to save anywhere from $2 up to $7 a barrel in shipping costs with the pipeline open.

6/1/17 – Star Tribune – $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline begins service – Pipeline has begun commercial service.

Commitments are in place for shipping 520K barrels daily. A DOT-111 tank car can carry 34,500 gallons. At 42 gallons to a barrel of oil, that would be 821 barrels per tank car.

That means 520,000 barrels of oil would fill up 633 tankers.

At typical load of 100 cars per unit shipment, that means there are 7 long loads of oil cars that won’t be rolling across the prairies. Every day.

That mean the risks of oil spills just dropped dramatically.

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