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Bakken Monitor – June 2019 Bakken Production Pushes Ahead On Lower Capex, Fewer Wells In 1Q19

North Dakota's March 2019 output recovered to 1.390 million b/d (+55,000 b/d m-o-m), in line with our 1.394 million b/d (+59,000 b/d) forecast, as wells returned to production following poor weather in February. For April, we see North Dakota production at 1.433 million b/d (+43,000 b/d m-o-m), with completions returning to normal levels. Updating our model after the first quarter’s production data, we see North Dakota production averaging 1.485 million b/d in 2019 (+210,000 b/d). This is an increase of 74,000 b/d on our previous forecast of 1.411 million b/d (+136,000 b/d). The production data implies better performance from Bakken producers than last year, garnering more production from slightly fewer wells. Overall, capex is 5% lower y-o-y but free cash flow has worsened (-$3.5bn in 1Q19, against -$2.7bn in 1Q18). Current data visibility suggests that completions have eased in the Texas basins, complicating the overall picture for the US. The biggest M&A deal of the year so far – Occidental and Anadarko – is facing a legal challenge, potentially chilling other deals in combination with lower oil prices....

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