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Bakken Monitor – February 2018 Promises, Promises as LTO Outspends Again

North Dakota's oil production fell to 1.181 million b/d (-13,000 b/d m-o-m) in December, in line with our forecast of 1.172 million b/d. Reported earlier than expected, January production fell further to 1.176 million b/d (-5,000 b/d m-o-m), in line with our forecast of 1.177 million b/d. We provide analysis of LTO companies’ full year and fourth quarter results: for all the promises of neutral or even positive free cash flow, the industry as a whole finds itself with more negative free cash flow than 2016. Ten of the 44 companies we follow had positive free cash flow in 2017 – the same number as in 2016. Just two relatively small-scale operators – UnitCorp and Cabot – managed positive free cash flow in both 2016 and 2017. Full year results see us raise our LTO growth forecast to c. 1 million b/d for 2018 (+300,000 b/d on previous forecast)....

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