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”

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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Volume and value of 2017 oil production in North Dakota

Notice all the empty space on that pad? Notice the disproportionately high number of storage tanks for the number of pumpjacks on site? One day there will be a lot more wells in operation. Photo by James Ulvog.

Before showing the average daily production, annual production, and value of that production, just a note on December 2017 production.

Average daily production dropped from 1,196,976 bopd (revised) in November to 1,181,319 bopd (preliminary) in December, a decline of 15,657 bopd, or 1.31%.

Here is what the average daily production by year looks like. Notice the recovery in 2017?

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Oil production in North Dakota increases 1.0% in November 2017; getting close to record output

Production of crude oil increased 12,110 bopd in November, or 1.02%, going from 1,182,810 (revised October) to 1,194,920 (preliminary November).

The record high production was 1,227,529 average bopd in December 2014. Production in November 2017 is 32,609 bopd below the high in December 2014. It will only take another 2.7% increase in average production to clear the previous record. I’ll guess that will happen in December 2017 or January 2018, before the winter start to cut into production. (That is not a very bold prediction since Mr. Helms thinks the record production level will easily be surpassed regularly in later 2018.)

Above is a graph of average production in the state since 2004.

Check out the following graph for production from only Bakken formations and total for the state since 2008:

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Crude production during October 2017 in North Dakota rises 7%, to 1.18 million barrels a day

The big increase of 78,154 bopd to 1,185,499 bopd follows 4 months of over 1.5% increase each month. That is a 14.8% runup in fourth months.

The record high production was 1,211,330 bopd in June 2015. There have only been four months when the average daily production was higher than in October 2017.

Another 27K bopd increase would put the state at a new record for production. With November and December production stats to go before the weather turns really nasty, that level of increase is likely. (Notice how lame that prediction is? A forecast two months out that is a mere 2% increase, when 8 of the 13 months have seen greater than 1.5% increase and 5 months saw a decline.) For perspective, at mid-December the couple of snow falls received so far haven’t outlasted the sunshine.

In my next post I will scratch my head wondering why the production jumped so much in one month.

Here is the monthly production, with a breakout of oil from the Bakken formation (which also includes the Sanish, Three Forks, and Bakken/Three Forks Pools formations):

 

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

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Average daily oil production in North Dakota down 0.98% in May 2017

Oil production in the state dropped about 1% in May, falling from average of 1,050,476 bopd in April (final) to 1,040,131 bopd in May (preliminary) That is a drop of 10,345 bopd for the month.

Million Dollar Way highlights the NDIC says a shortage of experience workers is slowing down completions.

Article also points out it will take another month to see what impact DAPL will having on the amount of oil shipped by rail. This is a big deal on the revenue realized by producers.

The spread between West Texas Intermediate and what Bakken producers get is about $11 a barrel. That is the cost of transport. The spread is expected to be $6 or $7 for oil shipped through DAPL.

Here are a few graphs to tell the production story:

Average production for state and Bakken only:

Value of monthly production, which seems to have stabilized in the last six months or so:

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More graphs of North Dakota oil production in April 2017

Yesterday’s post described the 2.4% increase in North Dakota oil production. Here are a few more graphs to tell the story.

Here is the average sweet crude price in the state by month:

 

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