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Bakken Monitor – February 2019 Majors Steam Ahead While Independents Trim Sails; Marathon's Monsters Best In Show

North Dakota's November output retreated to 1.376 million b/d (-16,000 b/d), in line with our 1.371 million b/d (-21,000 b/d) forecast, as poor weather hampered completion activity. We see December output regaining October’s level at c. 1.396 million b/d as weather and completion numbers improved. Following up on last month’s analysis Marathon’s well results appear to be in a class of their own, with nine of North Dakota’s top ten wells owned by the company in November. While Continental Resources is completing most wells and owns most acreage, few are of the highest quality, suggesting Marathon’s success is not generalizable. Production guidance for 2019 is slowly ticking in with many larger operators already reporting. We expect to have a fuller picture by the end of February. The trend so far appears in line with Barclays research that suggests stronger growth from majors as they target doubling production by 2025, and consolidation from mid-sized independents as they look to appease shareholders with returns....

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