Energy Intelligence group Genscape predicts crude production in the Bakken shale region will reach 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2014, continuing its growth trend.
The company had predicted that production would rise by 54,000 bpd from May to June, which would have been the region’s largest monthly increase on record. However, the North Dakota Industrial Commission reported on Aug. 15 that oil production rose just 10,153 from May to June, reaching 821,415 bpd, which surpassed May’s total of 811,262 bpd. The commission’s report still showed that monthly oil and gas production in North Dakota’s Bakken shale region reached record highs in June, as gas production rose to more than 930 million cubic feet (MMcf) in June, surpassing May’s total of more than 896 MMcf.
From January to February this year, production grew 41,000 bpd and was the largest month-over-month increase reported. Only one other time, from June to July 2011, has production grown by more than 40,000 bpd in a month. Genscape’s record prediction was based on information from its Bakken Data Service, which tracked production throughout the month of June and received a final production forecast on June 30, nearly two months before the Aug. 15 release of the commission’s report.
The month of June brought favorable weather to North Dakota and producers were able to accelerate completion activity. The backlog of uncompleted wells accrued during April and May, when weather was less favorable, was worked off and production was able to grow significantly as a result.
Genscape has expanded its network of proprietary real-time energy monitors to track Bakken production/transportation from 12 rail terminals and two pipelines. Of the monitored flows, 70 percent of crude in June from the Bakken was transported by rail, while the other 30 percent was transported by pipe. This is in line with volumes reported in May, but in contrast to April when 84 percent was carried by rail and 16 percent was transported by pipeline. The continued tightness in the spread between WTI and the coast markets is keeping pipeline transportation elevated when compared to other months when the spread was wider.
Genscape predicts crude production in the Bakken will continue its growth trend with 68,000 bpd added between June and the end of the year. By year end 2014, Genscape predicts production will reach 1.1 million bpd.