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Bakken Monitor – February 2017 Get Well Soon?

With more capex budgets reported, the US LTO recovery may begin in earnest in 2H 2017. North Dakota's oil production fell to 1.034 million b/d in November from 1.44 million b/d in October (-10,000 b/d m-o-m), in line with our forecast. The boost to production from wells restarted in October after extensive completion work by Whiting amongst others wore off and returned to the previous decline rate. We forecast lower production in December as North Dakota continues to complete wells below replacement rate. Curve fitting techniques provide a base case for average estimated ultimate recoveries in the Bakken of a maximum of c. 375,000 barrels of oil per well in 2016. Estimates for US LTO capex suggest production bottoming out before a return to growth in 2H2017, confirmed by the first few indications from companies. Trump’s “America First” energy plan is slowly taking shape, but difficult trade-offs will have to be made.

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