North Dakota’s oil production has more than quadrupled since 2005; boom in Bakken shale production
22 November 2011
North Dakotas oil production averaged above 460 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d) in September 2011, more than four and one-half times its September 2005 level, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although the State’s oil production growth slowed during the first few months of 2011, more favorable weather conditions helped operators significantly boost output in June, July, August, and September. North Dakota currently trails only Texas, Alaska, and California among oil-producing States.
Production increases in North Dakota are mainly associated with accelerating horizontal drilling programs in the Bakken shale formation situated in the northwest portion of the State (and extending into Montana and portions of Canada). By combining horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing (the same technologies used to significantly boost shale gas production), operators increased North Dakota’s Bakken oil production from less than 3 thousand bbl/d in 2005 to more than 230 thousand bbl/d in 2010.
The early-2011 slowdown in the States oil production growth was due in large part to an especially severe winter and spring flooding that hampered exploration and development activity. Through May, monthly increases averaged just over 1%, well below the average monthly production growth of about 3% in 2010.
North Dakota operators reported stronger production gains more recently. In June 2011, oil production averaged 385 thousand bbl/d, an increase of nearly 6% over May. In July, oil production grew by more than 10% from the previous month, averaging 424 thousand bbl/d. Production in August and September rose by 5% and 4%, respectively. According to North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), warmer and dryer weather has resulted in a sharp increase in active drilling rigs and hydraulic fracturing activity as operators escalate exploration and development programs.
Citing a backlog of over 350 wells awaiting fracturing services, the DMR anticipates further oil production increases through the remainder of 2011 and over the next several years (reaching as much as 750 thousand bbl/d by about 2015, up from its earlier estimate of 700 thousand bbl/d mentioned in This Week in Petroleum). According to the DMR, the State’s crude oil takeaway capacity (via pipeline, rail, and truck) is adequate to accommodate near-term projected production increases.
Is it possible to go under the Canada border and get Canadian oil free?
Posted by: HarveyD | 22 November 2011 at 11:45 AM
With horizontal drilling it seems like everything is possible...
more seriously at this pace of extractions the 3 billions barrels in place won't last for very long...
Posted by: Treehugger | 22 November 2011 at 01:43 PM
Good enough for 4,000 to 6,000 days and more if you drill further North?
Posted by: HarveyD | 22 November 2011 at 07:03 PM
At this pace of extractions, peak oil may be so delayed as to not occur due to oil shortage at all, but will simply peak because we choose other sources of energy.
A bit like the early 1900s, just as the dreaded cap and trade on horse drawn carriages, buggies and surreys, was due to be implemented (to control horseshit in the streets) the auto came along.
Little known is the fact that the capture and sequestering of horseshit was successful – they captured it by shoveling it into barrels and sequestered it in Washington D.C.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 22 November 2011 at 09:16 PM
People will choose other sources of energy because oil is too hard to get (just like we chose coal and nuclear for electric generation after the 1970's oil-price shocks).
Oil from the Bakken is nothing if not expensive.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 23 November 2011 at 03:45 AM
That's the nice thing about free enterprise; the public has no reason to be concerned about the oil from the Bakken being too expensive.
If it were, the oil companies would loose money and, unlike the gov, they could not just force people to pay more than the going rate for oil from all sources.
Even with Obama's obstructionism, domestic oil production is increasing.
It is very simple.
Technology being applied to the deep GOM fields, the the Bakken shale formation and other difficult fields (and the oil production that results) proves that such oil is not too hard to get at market prices.
It is very, very simple, just keep the gov out.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 23 November 2011 at 05:07 AM
I do not see how the President is obstructing, it seems like Congress is doing most of that.
Posted by: SJC | 23 November 2011 at 08:44 AM
"Citing a backlog of over 350 wells awaiting fracturing services.."
With due respect to ND, they have a lower population density than many US areas and hope records of ground water effects are closely monitored.
Posted by: kelly | 23 November 2011 at 12:19 PM
We had a decent economy at $25/bbl. We have a sucky economy at $100/bbl. I say the Bakken oil is too expensive... but when everything else is also too expensive, it can be one of the better deals. The ultimate solution isn't drilling, it's to get away from oil.Talk about being "not too hard to get" all you want, but run along. The adults have an economy to worry about. Strange definition of "too expensive" you've got. You seem to mean "producible at the market price of oil". That's now about $100/bbl. When oil was $25/bbl, the Bakken was too expensive.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 23 November 2011 at 05:44 PM
In your own words "but when everything else is also too expensive, it can be one of the better deals."
Posted by: ToppaTom | 23 November 2011 at 10:35 PM
Ah, you can read for comprehension!
Electricity is a much better deal than $100/bbl oil. Delivering the electric equivalent of a gallon of gas to the wheels costs about 75¢ at the wall. We can grow our economy if we use electric cars, but if we keep running everything on oil our wealth and economy flows to the oil exporters.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 24 November 2011 at 02:18 AM
So, what villain is responsible for us not using electric cars ?
Toyota, they tried to stop the Li Ion battery?
Tesla, they made EVs few could afford?
All the normal people that bought/buy big cars because gas is not expensive?
Posted by: ToppaTom | 24 November 2011 at 09:49 AM
Toyota adopted the Li-ion battery as soon as it was suitable. Telsa made a car that breaks the stereotype of electrics as slow and un-cool.GM refused to sell any EV1's to the public, and crushed them. Chevron-Texaco bought up the rights to prismatic-format NiMH cells and barred Toyota (or anyone else) from using them in cars. And then there's the propaganda effort against EVs, of which you're a part.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 24 November 2011 at 02:20 PM
A progressive but accelerated switch to locally built electrified vehicles + essential charging stations + clean e-energy generating plants together with an accelerated phasing out of ICEVs could really help to put USA's economy back on tracks.
The secondary effects, i.e. less GHG, lower health care cost, higher productivity, lower trade deficits etc would also benefit a sick economy.
Here is a good recent one. A very well known major Oil firm (mentioned in E-P post above) has started to drill in the Gulf of St-Lawrence and claims that the oil is so light that leaks will help to feed fishes instead of killing them. Not everybody believed that claim but many local politicians did.
Posted by: HarveyD | 24 November 2011 at 05:52 PM
You're starting to scare me EP.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 24 November 2011 at 11:01 PM
Oderint, dum metuant.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 25 November 2011 at 05:57 AM
North Dakota has a coal to methane conversion factory that sells about half of the CO2 that it produces to canadian oil fields to keep them producing at a high rate. It has more to sell to the new wells as well. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 26 November 2011 at 11:10 PM