The cecline and fall of North Dakota’s Bakken oil play

FORBES | Bakken production fell to a 7-year low of 827,000 barrels of oil per day in May (Figure 1). That is a drop of almost 550,000 barrels per day (-40%) since March. Most of the decrease in output is because more than 2,800 wells were shut in over the last two months because of low oil prices.


The average wellhead price in the play is only $31.75—almost a $9 discount to WTI. That’s because of high transportation costs from the Williston Basin to the Cushing pricing point and to refineries. There are only 10 active rigs in the Bakken today compared to an average of 53 rigs in 2020.


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