The Permian has been stealing headlines and analyst attention over the past year...but higher oil prices over the past few months have prompted drillers to grow production not only in the Permian, but also in the older and more developed plays such as the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana. The Bakken crude oil production has started to grow again and is expected to beat in the first half of 2018 its own production record of 1.23 million bpd from December 2014.
The number of active drilling rigs in North Dakota is currently at 60, data by the North Dakota Industrial Commission shows. This is way below the 190 active rigs in early April 2014, but double the 29 rigs in April 2016.
The EIA expects production in the Bakken to rise this month by 12,000 bpd to 1.223 million bpd, although the growth pace would be much slower than that in the Permian.
The Bakken production is set to beat in H1 2018 the December 2014 record of 1.23 million bpd, Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Mineral Resources Department, told Bloomberg earlier this year.
“Everything points to more rigs, more frack crews, more activity in North Dakota,” Helms said.
Continental Resources, one of the largest operators in the Bakken, said in February that its Bakken net production reached an all-time high in Q4 2017 averaging 165,598 boepd, up 58 percent over Q4 2016.
In January, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm told CNBC that Bakken’s “demise was over-exaggerated” and that “the Bakken is back stronger than ever”.