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Bakken Monitor – August 2016

  • North Dakota's oil production rose slightly to 1.047 million b/d in May from 1.041 million b/d in April (+6,000 b/d m-o-m, in line with our forecast of 1.045 million b/d)
  • Production held firm as c. 20,000 b/d of outages due to weather in April returned to production, as highlighted in the previous Bakken Monitor
  • We forecast 1.032 million b/d of production in June (-15,000 b/d m-o-m), with total US LTO production of 3.971 million b/d in 2016 (-568,000 b/d y-o-y)
  • We take a contrarian view to the growing analyst and industry consensus on a strong production rebound based on technological improvements in the shale patch
  • Recent comments by Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard support our analysis that any rise in oil prices will see E&P companies give back the cost gains of recent months
  • We use Continental Resources as a case study in questioning claims of radically improved estimates for ultimate recovery based on completion methods
  • Geology matters, we see longer laterals and, most importantly, better rock, as having the biggest impacts on recovery, while better completions accelerate production

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