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.

Archive for the tag “Bakken”

Two percent increase in North Dakota oil production in June 2019.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Oil production in the state increased 2.15% in June, growing an average of 30,004 bopd, from 1,394,648 bopd average in May (revised) to 1,424,652 in June (preliminary). That is after a lull from October 2018 through May 2019, when the average production increased a mere 648 bopd.

Before showing the production graph, a few comments about prices and rigs in operation.

Prices have declined substantially in the last couple of months:

  • Sweet crude in North Dakota
  • $48.00 March
  • $52.50 April
  • $50.50 May
  • $43.10 June

The drop, especially in June, shows up in the value of crude production:

The productivity of wells has increased over the years. The result is the count of completed wells is largely independent of the number of drilling rigs in operation.

Consider an overlay of the completed well count and the rig count:

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North Dakota oil production remains steady in May 2019.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Oil production in North Dakota increased slightly to average of 1,393,284 BOPD in May 2019 (preliminary), up 799 BOPD from April (revised).

Rig count has been flat, ranging from low of 61 to high of 67 during the last 12 months.

An odd factor this month is small increase in production (up 799 bopd/day, 0.06%) with increase in producing wells of 194 (+1.26%).

Lynn Helms is cited in article at Bismarck Tribune (7/16/19 –Oil Production steady in May, but transportation woes persist) suggesting this is due to old legacy wells that produce around 25 barrels a day being closed in for the winter and then brought on-line from late spring until fall.

Economic driver explaining this is the costs of plowing roads and hauling oil makes such wells uneconomical in the winter. Thus they are taken off line in the winter.

The number of inactive wells dropped by 69 in May.

The two month changes are:

  • 141 – drop in inactive wells
  • 185 – well completions
  • 337 – increase in producing well count

That leaves an increase of 11 producing wells that isn’t explained by drop in inactive wells and completions.

Here is what the average production looks like:

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North Dakota oil production expected to accelerate this year. Also two more new huge oil finds where oil wasn’t expected.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Latest guess, from someone who has a clue about such issues, on where production is going in North Dakota is somewhere around 1.5M or 1.6M barrels a day late this year or early next year.

Huge finds off coast of Guyana and in New Mexico/Texas.

Question needs to be asked again:  What Peak Oil?

 

The Million Dollar Way – 7/7/19 – ND Oil Production to Surge – Lynn Helms. Citing another source, the article says Lynn Helms, director of DMR, thinks production in North Dakota will surge later this year after gas infrastructure construction is done.

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US hits all time record high for oil production, is now net oil exporter, and is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in export of crude & oil products.

16 reasons US has been moving towards a net exporter of energy and finally hit that point. Well visible right of center with Missouri river in background. Williston, North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

The changes in energy production over recent years is astounding.

My blogging has dropped off a lot over the last year or so due to distractions. Have a huge backlog of things to discuss, such as:

  • The US is a net oil exporter
  • Oil production in US is at all time record high
  • Sometime later this year the US will be exporting more oil product than Saudia Arabia

MSN – 12/7/18 – US ends its reliance on foreign oil for the first time in 75 years – In the last week of November 2018, the US exported more oil than we imported. The US is now a net exporter. Ponder that.

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Last 12 months are best ever for oil production in North Dakota. Oh, what peak oil?

Photo by David Ulvog. Used with permission.

Record high level of oil production in the state was 1,403,844 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in January 2019. April production averaged 1,391,188 bopd (preliminary).

Before the slump in prices and drilling, the record high was 1,229.572 bopd in December 2014.

Since production bottomed out at an average of 942,322 bopd in December 2016, production has been climbing.

Production in June 2018 and every month since then has been above the December 2014 level. Even with winter weather, production has been in the neighborhood of the 1.4M bopd level for the last eight months, apart from small drop in February.

Graph of average production in the state and Bakken formation since 2008:

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Oil production in North Dakota in January 2019 only a smidgeon below record level in prior month.

There is another pumpjack to the right of the most visible one. There are two more on the distant horizon. Photo by James Ulvog.

Preliminary production in January is 339 barrels a day below the revised amount for December. Here is how close January’s output came to the record high in December:

  • 1,402,741 – December 2018 – record high
  • 1,402,402 – January 2019 – preliminary

Production data usually changes in the month following initial release. The pattern I’ve noticed is a data for a well or three arrives after the cutoff for the monthly report. So, late reporting for a few wells could push the January 2019 data into record territory.

Before showing a graph of production, wanted to bring in some new data reported by the state regulator. The “Director’s Report” lists the average price for sweet crude in the state and has done so for many years. The report just started listing the average of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) pricing for the month.

There is a discount from the price realized in North Dakota compared to WTI because of the cost of transport. That spread, so I understand, has fallen since the DAPL was completed. Here is a revised graph of average price in ND to include an average of WTI:

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Volume of 2018 oil production in North Dakota hits another record; total value rising.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Total production of oil in North Dakota in 2018 set a record as did the average daily production.  Prices have recovered from their low which means the value of that production is going up but not yet close to setting a record.

All of the following data is from a spreadsheet I maintain, with the raw data pulled from various reports published by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Average daily production rose to 1,249,049 bopd in 2018, up from 1,081,543 bopd in 2017. That is an increase of 167,505 bopd, or 15.5%. Previous record was 1,184,009 bopd in 2015.

Average daily production:

 

Total production for the year was 455,902,738 barrels, an increase of 61.1M barrels over the 394.8M produced in 2017.

Total production over the years:

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Well completions by year in North Dakota

Photo by James Ulvog.

While pulling together the graphs of oil production in North Dakota for 2018, I wondered what the trend of well completions might look like.

So, pulled a graph together. Primary source of my data is a spreadsheet I maintain of the monthly information released by the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources. Well completions is one of many data points accumulated on the spreadsheet.

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In 2018, North Dakota oil production broke record level of output 6 times during 8 months.

Two things to notice. Lots of space between pumpjacks means there will eventually be several more wells on that pad. Lack of any storage tanks means the pad is tied directly to an underground pipeline. Photo by James Ulvog.

Oil production in North Dakota hit an all time high of an average of 1,229,572 barrels of oil per day (bopd) back in December 2014.  The effort by Saudi Arabia to flood the market in order to drive down prices in order to collapse the US shale industry slowed production in North Dakota but didn’t succeed in killing the shale sector.

Output fell to a low of 942,322 bopd in December 2017. Output then started rising with a typical slowdown in winter of 2017/2018.  After the winter lull production again climbed.

In 2018, producers in North Dakota broke the record level of production six times in the last eight months. The record-breaking months:

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North Dakota oil production hits another record in December 2018

Photo by James Ulvog.

Average production of crude oil in North Dakota rose 1.79% in December 2018, setting yet another record. The production in December was 1,401,385 bopd (preliminary).

At the end of 2017, production was 1,182,836 ave bopd (final). In one year, that is an increase of 218,549 bopd, or a whopping 18.5%.

Statewide and Bakken shale production has been trending up sharply.  The rapid rise since last winter’s lull is clear.

 

For a longer term perspective, check out the average daily production since 1990:

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The work effort driving the record levels of oil production in North Dakota.

Previous post showed a graph of the new records of oil production in North Dakota in recent months.

Let’s look at the drilling and completion work driving the rising levels of production.

Keep in mind that the drastic improvements in productivity has decoupled the number of drilling rigs from the number of wells drilled.

Also keep in mind the ‘fracklog’, or the number of wells in the backlog of wells that have been drilled but not yet completed. In essence, wells are drilled and then left in inventory. When the expectations of prices are right and there are completion crews available, production companies can quickly complete a well and get it into production.

The number of drilling rigs in the field dropped dramatically during 2015. Since the fall of 2016, the count has slowly risen, with a noticeable pickup in the last five months:

 

The number of wells awaiting completion, the ‘fracklog’, has been increasing slightly over the last year but dropped over the last two months:

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Oil production in August 2018 for North Dakota hits another record level

In August the crude oil production in the state hit an average of 1,291,496 barrels of oil per day (bopd). As always, that is the preliminary tally, which will change when a few late reports arrive.

The record high before a several year slump was an average 1,229,572 bopd in December 2014.

In the last five months there have been three record highs with two months barely under the 12/14 record.

Here is my graph of production state-wide and Bakken only (including Sanish, Three Forks, and Bakken/Three Forks levels). Notice the steady increase over the last few months and a strong rise since winter of ‘16/’17.

 

For a far longer perspective, look at the average production data since 1990.  I like this graph because it shows a pattern of explosive growth from about 2008 through late-2014, a drop until around the end of 2017 and a rapid growth since then. The longer view:

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Oil production in May 2018 for North Dakota hits new record level

Multiple pumpjacks on a well pad is a normal thing in North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

In May the crude oil production in the state hit an average of 1,244,629 barrels of oil per day (bopd). As always, that is the preliminary tally, which will change a bit over the next two months as a few late reports arrive.

That is 15,057 bopd higher than the previous record of 1,229,572 bopd in December 2014.

Here is my graph of production state-wide and Bakken only (including Sanish, Three Forks, and Bakken/Three Forks levels):

For a longer term perspective, here is the total monthly production since 1990:

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Value of monthly oil production in North Dakota through April 2018

Fourteen wells are on that pad, which is on the south side of Williston near the Missouri River. Photo by James Ulvog.

Previously discussed the near-record level of oil production in the state during April. Here is the graph of average daily production since 2004:

What is the value of that oil? Multiply those average daily production levels by days in the month and then multiply by the following average sweet crude prices in the state:

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Oil production for April 2018 in North Dakota getting close to record level

There is space for more than 6 pumps on that site. Might be as many as a dozen when fully drilled. Photo by James Ulvog.

In April crude oil production in the state hit an average of 1,224,948 barrels of oil per day (bopd). That is the preliminary tally, which will change a bit in the next report as a few late reports arrive.

That is really close to the record high of an average 1,229,572 bopd in December 2014. Another 4,624 per day would get the state to a new record. That could be achieved for April by late reports from the field. Or, since production increased 42,112 bopd since December, the May data will likely break the record.

Here is my graph of production state-wide and Bakken only (including Sanish, Three Forks, and Bakken/Three Forks levels):

For more background, here is the total monthly production since 2004:

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