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Bakken Shale in the United States of America (USA), 2021 – Oil and Gas Shale Market Analysis and Outlook to 2025

In 2020, the Bakken Shale produced 1,229 mbd (million barrels per day) of crude oil and condensate. The production of both these commodities is expected to decline during 2021-22 and then maintain a steady upward trend. During 2023-25, the growth rate for natural gas production is expected to be higher than that of crude oil. With the steady recovery in the market, both the commodities are expected to exceed the production level that was recorded during 2020.

The oil and gas production in Bakken shale was affected adversely by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent impact on economic activity. Recovery in the production of both commodities still seems to be a long target. During January – February 2021, production of both, crude oil and natural gas, declined sharply, before returning to growth by end of March. However, since then, crude oil and natural gas production started dropping, covering complete Q2 2021, and is expected to fall during Q3 2021. The crude oil production is, meanwhile, forecasted to recover slowly during Q4 and continue the path, while natural gas is expected to start growing during Q1 2022.

Bakken Shale market overview

Bakken Shale market overview

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What are the market dynamics of the commodities produced in the Bakken Shale?

The Bakken shale play is the second-largest oil-producing region in the US behind the Permian Basin. Crude oil production in Bakken peaked in November 2019, and since then was declining at a 6% rate on an annual basis. However, muted energy demand and crashed oil prices brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused crude oil production in the play to drop by around 40% compared to the beginning of the year. The Bakken averaged 55 drilling rigs in 2019 and then decreased to an average of 24 rigs, a 79% drop in 2020. While other basins throughout the US have increased their rig count with commodity prices rising to pre-pandemic levels, the Bakken has lagged with its rig count. GlobalData expects a slight uptick in the rig count but not the level that was observed before the Covid-19 pandemic for the remainder of 2021.

The oil and gas production in Bakken shale was affected adversely by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent impact on economic activity. Recovery in the production of both commodities still seems to be a long target. During January – February 2021, production of both, crude oil and natural gas, declined sharply, before returning to growth by end of March. However, since then, crude oil and natural gas production started dropping, covering complete Q2 2021, and is expected to fall during Q3 2021. The crude oil production is, meanwhile, forecasted to recover slowly during Q4 and continue the path, while natural gas is expected to start growing during Q1 2022.

What are the recent merger and acquisitions in the Bakken Shale?

Bakken shale is a prolific resource play in the US with increasing interests of the investors. In 2020, the crude oil price crash due to the worldwide lockdowns imposed to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak has put a serious impact on the producers’ capital spending. Like other operators in the US Lower 48, Bakken shale producers too decreased their spending to protect free cash flows, which resulted in a sizable decline in mergers and acquisitions in 2020.

The year 2020 recorded only one major transaction that was undertaken prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19. It involved Phillips 66 Partners, who acquired 50% interest in Liberty Pipeline Project for US$75 million during Q1 2020. The year 2021 has started off somewhat positively with two asset transactions and one acquisition during this timeframe. Enerplus Corp undertook two deals: an acquisition of Bruin E&P for $465 million, as well as purchase of certain Bakken assets from Hess Corp for $312 million. On the other hand, Equinor energy sold its Bakken assets to Grayson Mill Energy for $900 million.

What are the major counties producing crude oil and condensate and natural gas in the Bakken Shale in 2020?

In 2020, McKenzie County in North Dakota was the largest producer of crude oil and condensates in the Bakken Shale, followed by Dunn, Mountrail, Williams, and Richland counties. In 2020, McKenzie county was also the largest producer of natural gas, followed by Williams, Mountrail, Dunn, and Powder River.

Major counties in Bakken Shale, by the production of crude oil and condensate

Major counties in Bakken Shale, by the production of crude oil and condensate

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Who are the major players in the Bakken Shale?

In 2021, Continental Resources has the highest acreage by net acres in the Bakken Shale, followed by XTO Energy, Conoco Phillips, and Whiting Petroleum Corps. Similarly, Hess Corporation led the market with a strong financial standing followed by Continental Resources, Marathon Oil Corp, Whiting Petroleum Corps, and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Major players in Bakken Shale, by financial holdings

Major players in Bakken Shale, by financial holdings

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Market report scope

Production Capacity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production (Year – 2020)

1,229.0 mbd
Base Year for Estimation 2020
Market Commodities Crude Oil and Natural Gas
Forecast Period 2021–2025
Key Players Continental Resources, XTO Energy, Conoco Phillips, Whiting Petroleum Corps, Hess Corporation, Marathon Oil Corp, Mobil Corp., Oasis Petroleum, Enerplus Corp, and Crescent Point Energy Corp.

 

Scope

The report analyses the crude oil and natural gas appraisal and production activities in the Bakken Shale in the US. The scope of the report includes:

  • The report analyses the crude oil and natural gas appraisal and production activities in the Bakken shale in the US. The scope of the report includes:
  • Comprehensive analysis of crude oil and natural gas historical production and outlook during 2018-25.
  • Detailed information of impact on well development, permits, and deals against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In-depth information of well productivity and well completion parameters across Bakken shale in the US.
  • Analysis of top companies’ net acreage planned capital expenditure in 2021, as well as crude oil and natural gas reserves and production stats as of 2020.
  • Up-to-date information on major mergers and acquisitions across the Bakken shale play between 2019 and 2021.

Reasons to Buy

  • Develop business strategies with the help of specific insights into the Bakken shale in the US.
  • Plan your strategies based on economic viability and expected developments in the Bakken shale.
  • Keep yourself informed of the latest M&A activity across Bakken shale.
  • Identify opportunities and challenges across Bakken shale play.

Table of Contents

1. Overview 6

1.1 Bakken Shale, Recent Developments and Trends 6

2. Bakken Shale, Introduction 8

2.1 Bakken Shale, Formation Overview 8

3. Bakken, Production and Activity Overview 9

3.1 Bakken Shale, Production Analysis, 2018-2020 9

3.2 Bakken Shale, COVID-19 Impact on Production 12

3.3 Bakken Shale, Production Outlook, 2021-2025 13

3.4 Bakken Shale, Drilling Activity 14

3.5 Well profile 16

4. Bakken Shale, Competitive Benchmarking 19

4.1 Bakken Shale, Major Companies with Prominent Presence, 2021 19

4.2 Bakken Shale, Major Companies’ Financial Standings 21

4.3 Bakken Shale, Operational Performance of Leading Operators 22

4.4 Bakken Shale, Completion Parameters, 2019-21 23

4.5 Bakken Shale, Future Plans of Major Companies 27

4.6 Bakken Shale, Cost Trends, March 2021 28

5. Bakken Shale, Analysis of Bankrupt Companies 29

5.1 Bruin E&P 29

5.2 Whiting Petroleum Corp. 30

6. Bakken Shale, Associated Infrastructure 31

6.1 Pipelines 31

7. Mergers and Acquisition Activity in the Bakken Shale, 2019-2021 35

7.1 Overview of M&A Activity 35

7.2 Major Acquisitions 35

8. Bakken Shale, Analysis of Major Companies 37

8.1 Hess Corporation 37

8.2 Marathon Oil Corporation 37

8.3 Whiting Petroleum Corporation 37

8.4 ExxonMobil Corporation 38

8.5 ConocoPhillips 38

8.6 Oasis Petroleum Inc. 38

8.7 Petro-Hunt, LLC 39

8.8 Enerplus Resources Corporation 39

8.9 Northern Oil & Gas Inc. 39

8.10 Kraken Operating, LLC 39

8.11 Ovintiv Inc 40

8.12 EOG Resources 40

8.13 Nine Point Energy LLC 40

9. Appendix 41

9.1 Abbreviations 41

9.2 Methodology 41

| Contact Us 42

List of Tables

Table 1: Bakken Shale, Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production by State, 2018-2020 9

Table 2: Bakken Shale, Net Acreage by Company, 2020-21 19

Table 3: Bakken Shale, Reserves and Production by Major Companies, 2020 20

Table 4: Bakken Shale, Financial Standings of Major Companies, Q1 2021 21

Table 5: Bakken Shale, Operational Performance of Leading Operators, January 2020 – March 2021 22

Table 6: Bakken Shale, Planned Capital Expenditure by Major Companies, 2020-21 (US$ million) 27

Table 7: Bruin E&P, Bakken Shale, Key Operational Parameters, 2020 29

Table 8: Whiting Petroleum Corp, Bakken Shale, Key Operational Parameters, 2020 30

Table 9: Bakken Shale, Major Active and Announced Pipelines 33

Table 10: Bakken Shale, Major Deals by Oil and Gas Companies, 2018-21 36

List of Figures

Figure 1: Total Production across Bakken Shale, 2018-2021 6

Figure 2: Rig count in Bakken Shale, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) future prices, 2019-2021 7

Figure 3: Bakken Shale, Crude Oil and Condensate Production by County (mbd), 2018-2020 10

Figure 4: Bakken Shale, Natural Gas Production by County, mmcfd, 2018-2020 11

Figure 5: Bakken Shale, COVID-19 Impact on Production, 2021 12

Figure 6: Bakken Shale, Production Outlook, 2021-2025 13

Figure 7: Bakken Shale, Number of Well Permits by County, January 2019 to March 2021 14

Figure 8: Bakken Shale, Number of Well Permits by Key Operators, January 2019 to March 2021 15

Figure 9: Bakken Shale, Well Profile for Crude Oil Production 16

Figure 10: Bakken Shale, Well Profile for Natural Gas Production 17

Figure 11: Bakken Shale, Quartile Distribution of EUR (mmboe) 18

Figure 12: Bakken Shale, Proppant Mass (million lbs) vs Lateral Length (ft) 23

Figure 13: Bakken Shale, Average Peak Crude Oil Production vs Lateral Length (ft) Quartile 24

Figure 14: Bakken Shale, Peak Crude Oil Production vs Lateral Length, 2019-2021 25

Figure 15: Bakken Shale, Total EUR vs Lateral Length, 2019-2021 26

Figure 16: Bakken Shale, Major Companies by Well Costs (US$ mil), March 2021 28

Figure 17: Bakken Shale, Major Active Crude Oil, NGL and Natural Gas Pipelines by Capacity, April 2021 32

Frequently Asked Questions

In 2020, the Bakken Shale produced 1,229.0 mbd of crude oil and condensate.

The Bakken Shale produced 2,687.8 mmcfd of natural gas in 2020.

Continental Resources has the highest acreage by net acres in the Bakken Shale, followed by XTO Energy, Conoco Phillips, and Whiting Petroleum Corps.

In 2021, Hess Corporation led the market with a strong financial standing followed by Continental Resources, Marathon Oil Corp, Whiting Petroleum Corp, and Exxon Mobil Corp.

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