ND Bakken – Peak production of 2015 wells

December 2016

The following data and tables are about wells in the ND Bakken which had peak month production (IP30) in 2015. The numbers refer to barrels of oil (crude), representing more than 80% of boe.

The applied methodology and logic is the same as used for the calculation of the corresponding 2014 numbers (see here).

The numbers refer to wells with laterals or horizontal wells, representing more than 95% of all wells and close to 98% of new 2015 production.

2015 – Total horizontal Wells
IP30 (b/d)

Confidential vs non confidential wells

In 2014 there were as many confidential as non confidential wells. In 2015, the percentage of confidential wells declined. In 2015 Q4, the ratio was down to 1/3 of all wells with IP30. In 2014, the out performance of confidential wells became apparent in tht 4th quarter. In 2015, the out performance of confidential wells became more pronounced. In the last 3 quarters of 2015, the performance of confidential wells oscilated around 650 bpd, while the IP30 values of non confidential wells remained at 2014 levels.

Comparison with 2014

The average IP30 of the total of 1615 horizontal wells with IP30 in 2015 was 593 bpd, 6% higher than in 2014. The strong increase in quarterly performance, observed in 2014, did not continue in 2015. In fact, the quarterly IP30 trend was essentially flat.

The production resilience of the Bakken play, despite crashing oil prices, in the first 3 quarters of 2015 was above  all the result of the continuation of a high numbers of new wells with IP30 coming on stream. For the first two quarters, that’s understandable because of the time lags. Nearly all of the wells with IP30 in H1 were drilled in 2014. A significant part had completion contracts and hedged production. Until October 2015, ND legal constraints on the maximum time permitted between drilling and completion have certainly also played a role in keeping completions at a high level.

The often presented explanation, that the resilience of Bakken production in 2015 was the result of enormous well efficiency gains and high grading is a myth.

What’s also mentionable is that it took 950 new IP30 horizontal wells in the first half of 2015 to maintain production at the level reached late in 2014.