The Roundup -

Wells Waiting On Completion Top 1,000


WILLISTON, N.D., - The number of drilled oil wells in North Dakota continue to climb as producers delay turning on over 1,000 unfracked wells in hopes of oil prices recovering.

The daily output in North Dakota fell 2 percent in September, harming the industry's ability to grow production.

"That's sending a definite signal to the market that oil and gas operators are not willing to do a lot of drilling or hydraulic fracturing or production at these low prices," said Lynn Helms, director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), in a phone conference.

"The drilling rig count decreased 3 from August to September, decreased 3 from September to October, and dropped 4 more so far this month. Operators are now committed to running fewer rigs, but drill times and efficiencies continue to improve while oil prices continue to fall. This has resulted in a current active drilling rig count of 12 to 15 rigs below what operators indicated would be their 2015 average if oil price remained below $65/barrel. Oil price weakness is now anticipated to last through next year and is the main reason for the continued slow-down," said Helms in his monthly Directors Cut.

The statewide rig count is down 71% from the high and in the five most active counties rig count is down as follows:

Divide -69% (high was 3/2013)

Dunn -68% (high was 6/2012)

McKenzie -65% (high was 1/2014)

Mountrail -78% (high was 6/2011)

Williams -79% (high was 10/2014)

Rig count update:

August rig count 74

September rig count 71

October rig count 68

November 13th rig count 64 (in November 2009 it was 63)(all-time high was 218 on 5/29/2012)

Helms writes, "The drop in oil price associated with anticipation of lifting sanctions on Iran and a weaker economy in China is leading to further cuts in the drilling rig count."


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