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Bakken Summary

Bakken Summary

The North Dakota area of the Bakken LTO basin has accessible data from the ND Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Division. Production here seems to be past peak and in general decline. The data presented here is therefore more a historical perspective than of much interest in predicting issues that may have significant impact for the future. However it may give some indication on what to expect in the Permian basins, the only ones left in the US that may have capacity to increase production. The Texas RRC does also produce good data but a global data dump produces files that are too big for my computer to handle and splitting into smaller subsets is too man-hour intensive for me to pursue.

Production Across the Area

These charts show how the oil production has changed every three years by range (almost equivalent to lines of longitudes) and township lines (latitudes). These lines run every six miles and the area they contain is called a township, consisting of 36 square mile sections (that’s the simplified explanation, earth’s curvature and irregular land features make things a bit more complicated).

The production shapes indicate that there aren’t core (tier 1) areas with surrounding poorer quality areas. There is a single, small central peak area (I think geologists might call this a bright spot) and the reservoir quality declines steadily to the edges of the basin, outside of which there is no meaningful production and never will be no matter what oil prices, technology improvements or USGS fantasies come along.

The chart below shows the production over the whole area for April 2021, looking towards the north-west…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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