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Bakken’s Top 5 Operators


With the price of oil being what it is these days, oil prone shale plays are looking very attractive lately and these 5 operators are in a good position to take advantage of what the Bakken has to offer.  We compile our list of the top 5 active operators based on current well counts in the play then we will look at well performance and historical production for each.

The following is a map that shows where each producer is operating in the play with the gray well spots representing all other operators.

Next we compare operator well performance by comparing type curves for each of the 5 operators.  As we can see in the following graph, EOG’s initial well performance is far better than the other operators in our list but as time goes on they have a more drastic decline and by month 35 our EOG type curve is underperforming compared to the other operators.  This is most likely due to the learning curve by this operator as they experimented with technology to find the best way to drill and complete these wells.

To add some color to the operator type curves here is a production plot for each operator’s wells that came on since in Jan 2000.  We can see that EOG’s current production is substantially higher than it’s peers in the play.

To conclude, EOG is the dominate operator in the play and they seem to have found some breakthrough with the technology to unlock the Bakken. We will look at some where they are drilling and producing in a little more detail in a future post.

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Anne Leonard

In January 2015, Anne Leonard headed the team that launched the latest addition to DrillingInfo’s international publications, International Scout Frontier North America which covers the US Gulf of Mexico as well as Maritime and Arctic Canada. She has been reporting on exploration and production for more than 30 years. She began her career in Denver covering the Rocky Mountain Region, and has spent the last 10 years covering the international arena, with a particular focus on Latin America, Africa, Western Europe and the Far East. Anne received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nebraska.