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Bakken Monitor – July 2016

  • North Dakota's oil production fell to 1.041 million b/d in April from 1.109 million b/d in March (-70,000 b/d m-o-m, -41,000 b/d vs our forecast), the largest single month fall in the state’s history
  • We provide two forecast scenarios for May’s production reflecting different decline rates
  • Our favoured forecast sees production holding at 1.045 million b/d in May (+4,000 b/d m-o-m), as returning production previously lost to weather cancels out some of the background decline rate
  • Our alternative forecast sees production increasing to 1.060 million b/d in May (+19,000 b/d m-o-m) as production reverts to the trend it was on prior to April
  • Our total average US LTO forecast for 2016 has edged higher on increased expectations for WTI to 4.003 million b/d (-536,000 b/d y-o-y, +50,000 b/d on previous forecast), with a similar decline expected in 2017
  • A recent Reuters article shows that production decline rates in the first four months are slower for newer LTO wells
  • While we agree, we point to increased decline rates later in a well’s life that suggest increases in ultimate recovery will be a fraction of the increases to early production

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