The Bakken, What the Data Tells US

I have been supplied an Excel spreadsheet of all North Dakota wells back to 2006, thanks to Enno Peters and Dennis Coyne. I only used the data back to 2007 however. This is a wealth of information for if we want to know how many wells came on line in a given month, we simply count them. We are given the monthly production data for each month. And since we have the monthly production data we can very easily figure the decline rate of each well, or any group of wells for any month or year.

A note on the data. The first month data was almost always for a partial month. Sometimes the well came on line near the first of the month and sometimes near the end of the month. To get around this problem I have started with the second month, which is the first full month, and used that month as the first month of all my data. All data and charts below include all North Dakota wells, not just the Bakken.

NDIC Production Decline

Production per well has gradually increased each year. 2014 was the highest first month production but also the highest decline rate. Note that on the first month 2014 production is 29 barrels per day above 2013 1st month and 131 barrels per day above 2008 1st month.  But the 2014 10th month was 7 bpd below the 2013 10th month. And by the 13th month only 7 barrels per day separated the 2008 data and the 2013 data.

Bottom line is, though the new wells produce more, they decline a lot faster.

NDIC 1st Year BPD

 Barrels per day per well, for the entire year, discarding the first partial month and measuring the 2nd through 13th month, averaged 230 BPD for 2013 and 241 BPD for 2014. The first-year barrels per day per well has increased every year except for 2012.

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Texas RRC Oil & Gas Production Report

Texas has released Oil & Gas Production Data Query with its (incomplete) production numbers for December 2014. The numbers were quite surprising.

The last data for all Texas data is December 2014. The EIA data is through November. The Oil data is in barrels per day.

Texas C+C

Though the data is incomplete, we can still get some idea what oil production was in Texas in December. Total, C+C incomplete, production numbers for December was up over 133,000 barrels per day over the November incomplete data. Of course this number will change but it is very significant. Why would Texas production numbers jump to over 2.5 times their usual number in December?

Texas Crude Only

Texas crude only was up 109.4 thousand barrels per day according to the Texas RRC.

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EIA C+C Data and Jean Laherrere on Reserves

The EIA just released their International Energy Statistics with world production numbers through October 2014. There were no big surprises in this report.


World C+C production was up 731,000 bpd to 78,967,000 bpd. This is a new high.


All the gain in the last few years has come from non-OPEC. Non-OPEC production was up 374 kbd in September and up another 370 kbd in October to 46,002,000 bpd.

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Bakken December Production Numbers

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has released the Bakken and North Dakota monthly production numbers for December 2014. There was a bit of a surprise as Bakken and all North Dakota production was up just over 39,000 barres per day.

Bakken BPD

Since Bakken production was up at almost the exact same amount as the rest of North Dakota, (Bakken up 39,080 kbd vs. 39,086 bpd for ND), suggest that all the wells being brought on line are Bakken and Three Forks rather than conventional wells.

Bakken Change

The North Dakota change per month, 12 month trailing average reached a new high in December of 25,006 barrels per day. That means North Dakota oil production was up an average of 25 thousand barrels per day every month in 2014.

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