With earnings’ season upon us, watercooler discussions are swirling around questions about shale. This month, Stratas is shining a light on the Bakken Shale, the granddaddy of shale oil. Our aim is to draw attention to new information arising from recent company announcements that could shape the play in the near term.
Recent activity and renewed guidance from operators suggest stable rig counts and lower production growth for the Bakken in 2019, a departure from stout growth in 2018. Hess Corp., the first major Bakken operator to report financial results earlier this year, communicated that its production rose 7% from the third quarter to 126,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) despite some minor weather challenges in the final quarter of the year. Given the recent extreme weather conditions, Stratas expects another challenging quarter in the region. Fortunately, current prospects for spring flooding look low, according to National Weather Service reports. Snow packs and soil saturation levels are low due to dry conditions.