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Bakken Monitor – March 2016

  • North Dakota's oil production fell to 1.152 million b/d in December from 1.176 million b/d in November (-24,000 b/d), in line with our forecast of 1.163 million b/d
  • The production gains made in recent months from older wells gave way to larger declines from the same wells
  • Our January production forecast remains almost unchanged at 1.127 million b/d (-25,000 b/d m-o-m, +2,000 b/d on last forecast)
  • We forecast average 2016 production of 985,000 b/d (+5,000 b/d on last forecast, -199,000 y-o-y), with total US LTO production falling to 3.743 million b/d (-764,000 b/d y-o-y)
  • Though some analysts look for a quick rebound in LTO production if prices rally, we caution that this will prove difficult given the financial situation of the operators
  • Our analysis indicates that operators would need $12 billion of capex to maintain 2015’s exit production rate, and $1.7 trillion to reach a recent forecast of 8 million b/d US LTO production by 2035
  • This would require significant technical advances to cut costs and boost production, and based on 2014-15 production profile improvements, current pace seems slow

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