Monday, March 9, 2009

The RMOJ's 2008 ND Recap

The Rocky Mountain Oil Journal has allowed re-publication of its excellent summary of the 2008 production statistics for ND:

North Dakota Breaks All Time Oil Production Record For 2008

Bakken Output Increases 269%

North Dakota’s produced more oil in 2008 than in any year since commercial production was established in the state in 1951. The state reported production of 62,776,123 bo, up an impressive 39% compared to the 45,121,983 bo extracted a year earlier. 2008 shatters the previous record, which was set in 1984, when the state produced 52,658,396 bo. It appears that North Dakota will be the top oil producer for the first time in the Rocky Mountain Region beating out Wyoming, who has perennially claimed that #1 spot.

This 17.65 mmbo increase compared to the previous year is attributed to the increased drilling and completion activities in the horizontal Bakken that was spurred on by record oil prices. In 2008, the Bakken produced 27,233,329 bo from 881 wells, an increase of 269% as opposed to the 7,382,025 bo from 457 wells that the state recorded in 2007. Mountrail County accounted for 59% of the Bakken produced in the state with the vast majority of it coming from Parshall and Sanish Fields. It’s interesting to point out that in 2008, total spuds for the year was 720, of which 517 of those were for the horizontal Bakken. With official data is still being compiled, according to the RMOJ’s database, Mountrail and Dunn County accounted for about 63% of the Bakken drilling in the state. Although an estimate, and factoring in 640 spacing vs. 1,280 spacing, total horizontal hole drilled (not including vertical) in these two counties for the year is in the neighborhood of around 485 miles.

In another first, the Bakken was the top oil producing formation in the state since 1951, accounting for 43% of the states total. In previous years, the Ordovician Red River was the top producing formation. Now in second place, the Red River produced 17,239,458 bo or about 27% of the states total in 2008.

The top producing company in 2008 continues to be Burlington Resources (BR), who reported production totals of 12,106,151 bo from 163 active wells. 92% of this production is coming from the Ordovician Red River, primarily from the Cedar Creek Anticline in Bowman County where the company is exploiting the horizontal Red River. BR is also active in the Bakken play where they produced just over a million barrels of oil from 33 wells. A year earlier, BR was credited with a yearly total of 12,690,287 bo.

The second largest producer in the state is EOG Resources (EOG), the current king of the Bakken. Jumping up six places from 2007, EOG extracted 8,613,534 bo, and increase of 493% or 7,160,745 bo compared to the 1,452,789 bo produced in 2007. All of EOG’s production is coming from the horizontal Bakken, primarily from Parshall Field in Mountrail County. Latest production figures for this field, which locates in the overall area of 151-155n, 89-91w; reveal that in December, this field yielded 1,398,352 bo from 108 active wells (including confidential wells). The majority of these wells are operated by EOG, which discovered this field in 2006.

Continental Resources (CR) dropped from 2nd place to third place even though their production increased by over 26%. In 2008, CR produced 6,505,653 bo, an increase of 1,358,939 bo as opposed to the 5,146,714 bo produced in 2007. Like BR, 71% of CR’s production is coming from the Red River, while 25% of it is being produced from both the Bakken and to a lesser degree, the Three Forks.

Coming in at #4 is Hess Corp. (Hess). The company extracted 5,490,629 bo for the year, up 1,300,759 bo compared to 2007. For the first time since the company drilled the discovery well in the Williston Basin 58 years ago, Hess produced more oil from the Bakken than the Madison. 2,428,465 bo or 44% of the Hess production came from the Bakken with the remaining coming from the Madison, Devonian, Duperow, Heath, Ordovician, Red River, Sanish, Silurian, Spearfish/Charles, Stonewall, and Deadwood. The bulk of Hess’s production is still coming from Nesson Anticline in Williams and McKenzie counties as opposed to their horizontal Bakken activity in Mountrail, Mclean, Burke and Ward counties.

Remaining in fifth place is for the year is Whiting Oil and Gas (WOG). For 2008, WOG saw its production jump an impressive 69% to 3,895,134 bo compared to the 2,298,580 bo produced a year earlier. 53% or 2,072,973 bo of this total was from the horizontal Bakken, with the majority of it coming from the company’s operations at Sanish Field in Mountrail County.

A quick look at drilling statistics for the state in 2008 show that a total of 720 wells were spud for the year, up from the 407 that spud in 2007. Total permits applied for in 2008 was 946 an increase of about 92% compared to a year earlier. 85% of these permits were for the Bakken.

The following list ranks the top oil producers in the state of North Dakota for the year 2008. We have also included a list showing the top gas producers in the state however it should be noted that the vast majority of the gas produced within North Dakota is casing head gas produced in association with oil production. Also included is a 2008 list showing the rankings of those operators that produced Bakken oil only and a compilation of producing oil and gas formations within the state for the year. Please note that the company rankings for oil and gas and the Bakken do not include confidential wells, skimmed oil, drip gas or other liquids extracted during gas processing.

We would also like to thank the staff at the North Dakota Oil and Gas Commission for their patience in putting up with our somewhat picayunish questions and getting us the data that we asked for.

Below is the list of the 2008 top 30 oil producers in ND. The remaining top oil producers as well as lists of the 2008 top gas and Bakken producers in ND are available in the February 27, 2009, edition of

Operator-2008-Oil Oil (BBLS) Gas (MCF) Water (BBLS) # Wells
12106151 3526433 17743237 164
2. EOG RESOURCES, INC. 8613534 3670224 969659 66
3. CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC. 6505653 18827325 6365514 296
4. HESS CORP. 5490629 25116362 20663012 389
5. WHITING OIL AND GAS CORP. 3895134 5394685 9268943 244
6. ENCORE OPERATING, L.P. 3311878 5001679 26187592 300
7. MARATHON OIL CO. 2395410 901776 606949 80
8. ST MARY LAND & EXPLORATION CO. 1817305 2917923 6452989 257
9. PETRO-HUNT, L.L.C. 1557445 3133156 4313784 157
10. MUREX PETROLEUM CORP. 1129486 571471 873595 110
11. XTO ENERGY INC. 1047661 1470244 618282 83
12. ZENERGY, INC 937186 791865 3608014 96
13. BTA OIL PRODUCERS, LLC 746427 2390704 1733888 175
14. HUNT OIL CO. 634417 206460 174607 8
15. SLAWSON EXPLORATION CO. INC. 515647 124196 376038 25
16. SAGEBRUSH RESOURCES, LLC 515346 98596 3797665 103
17. CITATION OIL & GAS CORP. 503106 501832 6108233 115
18. FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PROD. CO. 496632 2057472 229472 77
19. LUFF EXPLORATION CO. 447171 191783 1139549 28
2O. EAGLE OPERATING, INC. 348914 299754 4370002 178
21. ZARGON OIL (ND) INC. 317825 10990 3626496 67
22. PRIMA EXPLORATION, INC. 301879 639027 573010 23
23. BRIGHAM OIL & GAS, L.P. 300969 222663 282518 12
24. TRUE OIL LLC 295902 1215392 144044 25
25. SAMSON RESOURCES CO. 289067 385844 248687 25
26. SUMMIT RESOURCES, INC. 288398 236805 2439499 37
27. CONOCOPHILLIPS CO. 270285 173845 1248060 5
28. ANSCHUTZ EXPLORATION CORP. 252384 117861 114462 23
29. WARD-WILLISTON CO. 235758 97111 1894419 131
30. WINDSOR ENERGY GROUP, L.L.C. 211142 80173 20565 2

Content courtesy and copyright The Rocky Mountain Oil Journal


Anonymous said...


Bruce Oksol said...

The statistics for Burlington Resources remind us that it is not just the Bakken formation that has oil. This is pretty impressive. Thanks for posting.

wo3 said...

Good production is the key source of development.