More drilling rigs are coming into the Williston Basin as North Dakota's rig count topped a record 186 in July. In May, North Dakota saw record production of 361,407 barrels of oil a day, according to the Oil Patch Hotline, whose editor, Dennis Blank, predicts production to exceed 400,000 barrels a day "soon."
The new rig count was a sharp jump over the 173 average in the month of June but with the dry weather, the surge in new rigs is "setting new records every few days," said Lynn Helms, director of the ND Department of Mineral Resources.
Helms said they expect to see 215 rigs by year's end. Montana has a rig count of eleven.
By the end of the year, there will be between 1,500 and 1,750 new wells drilled in North Dakota, according to the Hotline. (www.oph.hotlineprinting.com.)
According to the report, 500 wells are awaiting frac services. Jenette Hilton, technology manager for Superior Well Services in Denver, said 50 frac crews are needed in North Dakota, and there are an estimated 20 crews working now.
Wells are also having to wait long period of time to get connected to electricity. The same is holding true for some 800 businesses and living facilities. An infill well hookup costs $70,000.
Hilton said there have been delays on some frac jobs because the sand coming in by rail from Minnesota and Texas had not arrived. It takes about 45 truck loads for one job.
With an accelerated building boom in Williston, Minot, and several small communities, there is still an acute shortage of housing and employees. There are an estimated 2500 job opening in the Williston Basin now.
From the "Oil Patch Hotline," July 28. www.oph.hotlineprinting.com.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103