Production to rebound once it warms up, especially as oil prices begin picking up
While North Dakota gas production was only down to 1.54 bcf/d from the state all-time high of 1.76 bcf/d in Nov., oil production dropped a record 92,000 b/d in Dec. to 942,000 b/d (895,000 b/d of which is from the Bakken), according to Wood Mackenzie.
What caused this record-breaking drop in oil production?
It’s no surprise that North Dakota oil production would take a dip when average temperatures for the month ranged from 8 to 23 degrees F.
What’s surprising is that this dip was not due to a drop in completions. Completions were only down slightly, falling by 3 from 84 in Nov. to 81 in Dec.
Wood Mackenzie believes the drop in production to be temporary, given that almost 200 wells went offline from Nov. into Dec.
As for the complicated weather conditions, the North Dakota Industrial Commission recorded “three significant precipitation events, fifteen days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and nine days with temperatures below –10 degrees F.”
While these wintry conditions typically extend into Jan. and Feb., Wood Mackenzie expects production to rebound once it warms up, especially as oil prices begin picking up and DUC wells begin coming online.