More than a dozen new rigs will be added in North Dakota in the next 12 months but there are still 861 wells waiting on completion, according to Lynn Helms, director of the ND Dept. of Mineral Resources. There are 38 rigs drilling now.
As he cited new monthly production figures for the state in September that have dropped 10,353 BOPD to 971,658 BOPD, Helms believes oil prices will not go over $50 a barrel for some time. He believes oil price weakness will continue into the second quarter of 2017.
Operators have indicated that if STI crude prices move up to $60 or higher on a consistent basis that will signal more drilling.
Natural gas production was also down to 1,611,836 Mcf a day in September as the state reported a new all-time high on producing wells had reached 13,367.
More wells were completed in September (71) compared to 63 in August.
Continental Resources said it plans to add more completion crews next year.
Producers in Dunn County “got a shot in the arm” with the completion of ONEOK Partners Bear Creek gas processing plant, which enabled them to connect more of their wells.
In addition, wells in northern Dunn County are producing 200,000 to 300,000 BOPD more than wells in other areas, Helms said.
The NDMR issued 63 new drilling permits in September and 82 in October, when prices average $39.31 a barrel in that month.

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