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 “oil production”

Value of oil production in North Dakota also starting to recover.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Previous post mentioned the volume of production in North Dakota is starting to recover. It is still down dramatically from the last few years. Production past the 1.04M bopd level back in April 2017 and has been above that level until the pandemic hit and Saudi Arabia started flooding the market.

Two graphs showing the production levels can be seen on the previous post.

The price of oil has recovered from the lows during the shock back in April and May. Check out the price of West Texas Intermediate, North Dakota sweet crude, and estimated prices realized in the state:

Read more…

Oil production in North Dakota starting to recover in July 2020.

Each of the light brown spaces is a well pad. Photo by James Ulvog.

As seen in the following graph, crude oil production increased in July 2020. It is up 179,958 barrels of oil per day (bopd) over the low of 860,430 bopd in May. This is a drop of 478,644 bopd from the high point in November 2019.

Read more…

Additional comments on drop in oil production in May 2020.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Comments in the Bismarck Tribune and Williston Herald provide context on the drastic drop in oil production during May.

The Tribune was more dramatic in describing the drop.

Oil production in North Dakota “cratered” during the month, as described by the Bismarck Tribune on 7/17:  North Dakota shatters previous record oil drop as pandemic hits industry hard.

Notice the “shatters” description in the headline.

Impact of pandemic was to “tank” the production.

Director Helms referred to the drop as a “five alarm fire” for the industry.

Read more…

Deeper look at the May 2020 drop in North Dakota oil production.

Idle drilling rigs parked to the west of Williston. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858K bopd in May, which is a 362K bopd drop for the month and a 661K bopd drop since the record high of 1,519K bopd in November 2019.

Price of oil also collapsed, which means the value of production shrank.

Graphs of monthly production and prices can be seen in previous post.

Check out my calculation of the value of monthly production the combination of dropping output and dropping prices:

 

Just as a guess, I think production could be opened up almost as fast as it was cut back. More on that thought at the end of this post.

Activity counts

Read more…

North Dakota oil production drops 362,624 barrels a day in May 2020, down 43% from the November 2019 record high.

With a 45 day lag in reporting to allow data submission and collation, the production data for crude oil during May is now available for North Dakota.

The combined shocks of reduced demand for the pandemic and flooding the market by Saudi Arabia collapsed prices which then collapsed production.  A glut of oil jammed the storage capacity for a while which further drove down the prices available to producers in North Dakota.

The impact on volume and value of production is staggering.

The graphs of production in this post demonstrate how rapidly a massive industry, like oil production across an entire state, can respond to price signals in a capitalist economy. That part is amazing to see.

May production data

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858,395 bopd (preliminary) in May. This is down 362,624 bopd from the revised April level of 1,221,019 bopd. The April production was down 209,353 bopd from March.

Read more…

Oil production dropping in North Dakota; not yet visible in March data.

Production data in North Dakota is routinely released on about the 15th of each month reflecting data for the second previous month.  So the info just released on May 15, 2020 reports the March 2020 activity.

The radical drop in price due to the demand shock and supply shock will show up in production data for April, expected to be released about 6/15/20.

5/15/20 – Williston Herald – Helms: North Dakota crude has probably fallen below 1 million barrels, but March figures don’t yet reflect it – The head regulator, Lynn Helms, thinks that production in the state is currently below 1 million barrels a day. The May data won’t be released until July.

Read more…

Magic of the price signal to change production levels.

Fourteen wells on one pad, located on the southeast side of Williston, N.D. Photo by James Ulvog.

The double black swan of COVID-19 pandemic from the demand side and Saudi Arabia flooding the market from the supply side is creating a sales problem and storage problem for the oil industry.

Regulators in Texas are thinking about about ordering a pro-rate reduction in production. In other words, they are considering giving each producer an order on how much to cut.

North Dakota has no such plans.

North Dakota is planning to rely on capitalism to rapidly adjust production.

Read more…

North Dakota oil production in February 2020, before dropping due to pandemic and OPEC flooding market

Night sky in Williston, N.D. Long exposure photo by Joe U. Look at all the stars.

In February 2020, crude oil production in North Dakota averaged 1,451,029 bopd (preliminary), up 20,518 bopd from 1,430,511 bopd (revised) in January.  This is the 4th highest level of output, behind the high water mark of 1,519,032 bopd in November.

Production is going to drop rapidly. Drop will be at least 20% of current production. I’ll make a not-so-wild guess decline will be a quarter or more (>25%).

Prices have collapsed due to a double black swan. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a demand side shock.

There is also a supply side shock to the market.

Read more…

Crude oil production levels in North Dakota in February 2020.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Following charts show the production levels in the state before the double black swan events of pandemic and price war hit the market.

Next post will discuss the production levels and those two black swans.

Production in state and Bakken only:

For longer term perspective: Read more…

Oil production in North Dakota shows usual drop in January 2020. Price takes a nose dive.

Workover rig in place. Flaring of gas visible. Lots and lots of room for more wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

Uh oh.

Production in North Dakota dropped in January, which is typical. Look at the production chart and you can pick out each of the winters because production usually falls off.

However, the price has fallen through the floor, courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Russia kicking off a price war and declaring they will flood the market with increased production.

Crude oil prices dropped in February and have continued in free fall during March. Prices on 3/17/20 per the Director’s Cut report are all the way down to $18.50 for North Dakota light sweet and $23.60 for the North Dakota market estimate.

Production in January 2020 dropped to 1,429,515 bopd (preliminary), off 47,262 bopd from January (revised) and down 89,515 bopd from December’s record high.

Price data:

 

Production data since 2008:  Read more…

Another oil-price war kicks off.

Drilling rig in North Dakota, between WIllison and Crosby. Photo by James Ulvog.

Saudi Arabia and Russia had a falling-out over the weekend about controlling production levels and prices. As a result Saudi Arabia is going to cut prices and increase production.

They have announced they will cut prices by somewhere between $6 and $8 a barrel in April, depending on destination.

Read more…

Oil production in North Dakota for 2019.

Producing well with pumpjack in the foreground. Drilling rig in background. Two more pads between them.  Photo by James Ulvog.

Release of the December production data in North Dakota lets us look at production for the full year.  Following graphs show the average daily production and total for the year. Multiplying the monthly data by the sweet crude price in North Dakota reported in the Director’s Cut lets us see the value of production by month and total value for the year.

Read more…

North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Workover rig working on well in North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Average daily production in the state was 1,475,685 barrels of oil per day (bopd) (preliminary) after hitting the highest level ever of 1,519,037 bopd (revised) in November. The November production broke the state’s record for the fifth time in six months, and the twelfth time in the last twenty months.

The routine record-level production is being achieved with stable and low level of drilling rigs and without the wild-west craziness in the local economy that existed before 2014.

Graph of the average daily production in the state and in the Bakken pool:

Read more…

In October 2019 North Dakota continues record setting level of oil production after one month break

Oil pad with four wells; one with pumpjack and three without. Looks like there is room for another six or more wells eventually. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production hit yet another record level in October at 1,517,796 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) (preliminary). September was not a record at 1,443,980 BOPD (revised). September was only the third highest production.

During 2019, record level of production was hit in October, August, July, June, and January. Record was broken in 2018 during December, October, September, August, July, and May.

Huge amount of room on that site for additional wells. Already have two rows of wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

What does the average daily production trend look like? Check it out:

Read more…

North Dakota breaks record oil production level for three months running.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production in North Dakota has broken a record for three months in a row. This is not a record breaking number of record breaking months though. In the post-bust time since 2014, the record number of record levels was July 2018 through October 2018, or four months in a row. Back then production was 1.27m bopd in 7/18, 1.29m, 1.36m, and 1.394m, before sliding a bit to 1.378m in 11/18.

Production was 1,477,394 bopd (preliminary) in August 2019, up 2.18% from 1,445,934 bopd in July.

Check out the production trend:

Read more…

Post Navigation