Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on June 15, 2015

Bookmark and Share

Guess on how long Bakken oil will be pumped


Million Dollar Way – A Long Rambling Note on a Bunch of Things Regarding the Bakken – If you are still wondering why I am so powerfully positive on the Bakken, check out Mr. Oksol’s post.

My overly compressed summary:

With the current estimates of total oil in place (likely understated) which excludes a couple of layers of the overall formation (that haven’t been explored which means there is an unknown amount of technically recoverable oil there) and the previously estimated ultimate recovery of around 300K barrels per well (probably higher now with some wells at 1M barrels EUR) and the current technology (which is constantly being improved, which include the possibilities of refracking which are being tested now) leading to around 7% recovery (will probably be higher eventually) at 1M bopd production, there is enough oil to produce for about 95 years.

Adjust each of those factors up, and there is no telling how long Bakken will be producing.

Here’s the simple math: 500B estimated original oil in place x 7% recovery = 35B barrels / 1M bopd = 35,000 days / 365.25 = 95.8 years

Unless our political system kills the economy or kills fracking or unless some scientific wizard invents a new form of cheap, reliable, & transportable energy, there will be enough long-term energy-driven jobs available in North Dakota for my son’s childrens’ children to retire from.

That should be enough info to put the blood pressure through the roof for my flat-earth-believing Peak Oilist buddies. Sorry guys.

Check out the article for a long list of reasons why the production level will likely be sustained even though the count of completed wells drops (hint: choking back production and fracklog for starters).

6/4 – – 2015: Will the Balkan hit 1.2 million barrels per day? – An analyst with Wood Mackenzie thinks the average production in North Dakota will be 1.2M bopd in 2015, up from an average daily production of 1.1M bopd in 2014. Remember this estimate is with rig count dropping fast.

Before you laugh, keep in mind there were 880 wells on the fracklog in March. That is an amount equal to just under half a year worth of well completions that is in the status of drilled but waiting to be fracked. Backlog almost a year long.

In the first post above, Mr. Oksol thinks output in the state could hit and sustain at the 2M bopd level if the prices were right. That would of course reduce the expected life of the field to merely 50 years, assuming none of the long string of understated factors mentioned above stay low.

outrun change

29 Comments on "Guess on how long Bakken oil will be pumped"

  1. coffeeguyzz on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 7:08 pm 

    Mr. Oksol is a born-and-raised resident of Williston … retired military who emphatically states he has no expertise, or even much familiarity, with the ‘All Bidness’.
    However, he is an extremely astute individual who has blogged on the Bakken shale for many years. An ongoing, daily fount of relevant data.
    Most here are adamantly anti fossil fuel.
    So be it.
    Regardless of one’s perspective, data such as that presented in The Million Dollar Way blog can demonstrate clearly why those who called for a temporary, 1/2 mil, 3/4 mil barrel/day Bakken top got it so wrong.

    To the slight downside to the above prognostication is the diminished thickness and pressure in much of the outer formation.
    To the (greater) upside is the EOR potential utilizing research such as the UND’s EERC. If their recent findings that ethane is MUCH more effective than CO2 in mobilizing the oil in the high temperature (110-129C) Middle Bakken/Three Forks formations, the ultimate Bakken output will soar.
    Any who dispute this – and I would strongly encourage skeptics to actually read works such as Mr. Hughes’ Drillling Deeper – simply do not know the already demonstrated activities in North Dakota.

  2. Nony on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 8:24 pm 

    Picollo and TOD wrongly predicted 150-225K for the Bakken in 2008. Then he wrongly predicted 9 months later, that it would not get to 1MM. (And had to have someone point out his earlier failure, rather than volunteering it).

    The Rune gave his failed 600M-700M bod prediction (Red Queen) avec all kinds of hoopla and chitchat and media attention. Less than a year later, he had been proven wrong, but wrote an updated Bakken post that failed to mention that he had been wrong. And that slipped in a new prediction of 800M. Of course that was soon wrong itself. He still has not admitted directly that he was wrong or reflected on it.

    Why should we trust peakers to have some super amateur analysis when they don’t even admit their failed predictions and when they missed the interesting thing that happened with shale?

  3. hiruitnguyse on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 8:29 pm 


  4. Bruce Oksol on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:22 pm 

    Don’t you just find the Bakken extremely fascinating? The Bakken never ceases to surprise me.

  5. GregT on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:30 pm 

    “Don’t you just find the Bakken extremely fascinating? ”

    Not as much as I find human nature fascinating. We are killing ourselves with this shit. It is a fatal addiction.

  6. Apneaman on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:33 pm 

    Yeah I jack off to graphs and charts of the Bakken every night….I think I’m in love

  7. coffeeguyzz on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:33 pm 

    Mr. Oksol

    Fascinating, yes … with many story lines therein. 😉

    Thanks for all your efforts.

  8. GregT on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:45 pm 

    There will come a time in your life Coffee, that you will be far more fascinated with water, than you currently are with a toxic substance. I hope you will remember this when you leave this world, and I hope that you will accept some responsibility, for the legacy that you are leaving for future generations.

  9. Nony on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 10:55 pm 

    Interesting paper on learning in the Bakken. Essentially people do learn how to frack better, but they don’t learn it immediately. This is bad in terms of firms could do better, but good in terms of showing not all gains have been made.

    P.s. Million Dollar Way rocks. My favorite oil blog.

  10. hiruitnguyse on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 11:03 pm 

    Meanwhile, over yonder:

  11. GregT on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 11:29 pm 

    What is your motivation Nony? Why do you completely ignore every fact that is presented to you. Why do you ignore the world’s scientific communities? Why do you ignore what is already occurring globally to our climatic systems? Why do you ignore global economic contraction? Why do you ignore the future of not only yourself, but every other living entity on this planet, and all future generations? Are you in some sick sort of way trying to get back at everything because you can’t get laid? Or are you pure evil Nony, and a shill for the fossil fuel industry?

  12. Face-Plant on Mon, 15th Jun 2015 11:44 pm 

    I wonder if nony will be as critical when this idiots prediction of jobs for the next 3 generations of his family doesn’t play out in reality. Nony is such a fucking troll.

  13. Nony on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 12:02 am 

    Greg, it’s playfulness mixed in with the evil…

  14. GregT on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 12:35 am 


    What we are discussing here is not a childish subject. If you are not willing to step up to the plate, and act like a concerned adult, then please go elsewhere. Your ignorance is beyond annoying.

  15. Dredd on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 10:06 am 

    Bakken poison, Barnett poison, Bossier poison, Eagle Ford poison, Fayetteville poison, Haynesville poison, Huron poison, Marcellus poison, Niobrara poison, Tuscaloosa poison, Utica poison, and Woodford poison.

    poison: a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health.”

    Whoopie, we got enough to kill us all (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

  16. shortonoil on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 10:15 am 

    Another commentator that concentrates on barrels, and completely ignores the possibility that the economy can not afford to continually pump Bakken oil. The average Bakken well goes from being an energy source to an energy sink at 77,000 barrels of production. That determination can be calculated from these basic equations:

    ∆s = m * Cvp * ln(T2/To)
    I = To * σ

    which can be found in any text on thermodynamics.

    After the 77,000 barrel level is reached these wells must be subsidized from other energy sources to continue production. They are no longer useful for powering the economy. Once the energy needed to continue their operation is no longer available they will be discarded. Much of that energy presently comes from conventional crude. Conventional crude itself is falling prey to the effects of depletion, and declining available energy. Its contribution to Bakken production can only continue for a very few years.

  17. Nony on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 10:43 am 

    The Bakken puts out more oil than the entire country of Argentina:

    How’s that for the peakers who talked it down as it was going up? Bias, bias, bias. But the facts…they shine.

  18. GregT on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 10:46 am 

    The Bakken puts out more oilpoison than the entire country of Argentina

    There, fixed it for you Nony

  19. Mark Ziegler on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 10:47 am 

    I do not understand how they figure recoverable oil from shale.
    Someone explain that one.

  20. Davy on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 11:02 am 

    That’s not saying Much NOo. If it were Norway or something I would bow before you and kiss your feet.

  21. Nony on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 11:17 am 

    Mark, I don’t think there is a monolithic “they” in general or even within this article. Why don’t you ask about a specific actor (e.g. Oskol or Woods McKenzie).

    Oskol showed his method. It might be wrong, but he did describe it enough so that you can at least criticize.

    Woods McKenzie doesn’t describe one, here. And given they sell advice, I doubt they tell you without paying them. However, it’s largely irrelevant, since in this article, they only talk about 1.1 going to 1.2 (and we were 1.16 at end DEC). This change is trivial and unaffected by assumptions of total reserve.

  22. Nony on Tue, 16th Jun 2015 11:24 am 

    Davy, the 1 MM bpd is already notable:

  23. Bruno Zaltron on Wed, 17th Jun 2015 7:53 am 

    “Shortonoil” or “short on excuses to complain”
    You all are acting as in you want to purchase oil from the Mid East . Is that what you’re all wanting?? Come on, be glad we are getting oil from American soil, does the Bakken well drop after 75,000 barrels yes, But that’s 75,000 barrels we didn’t have a few years ago!(or 800k per well we didn’t count on) And I sure hope you all that are anti oil are not using gas for your cars.. So you all keep riding your bicycles ..
    (Even though I’ve heard Bruce does.. Haha)
    Mr.Oksol keep doing what you’re doing , great blog!

  24. Davy on Wed, 17th Jun 2015 9:02 am 

    Bruno, get a grip man. If something is uneconomic it is bad debt and bad for the country in the end. It may well be a huge misallocation of resources that could have been spent wisely with a real return. You are exhibiting the typical narrow vision econ type thinking that can’t see scenarios beyond price and markets.

    We don’t live in an abstract world devoid of laws of nature. We do actually have to eat our cake or it goes bad from rot IOW from entropy. We can’t even have our cake except shortly. It would be awesome if US shale were economic but it has yet to prove that. When the debt used to create it is paid off then I will bow and kiss your feet. When the Fed that helped create it swims out of the shark pool unscathed I will again bow and kiss your feet. In the mean time you best be on the sidelines like me watching. Short has a position that is worth considering. It can be discounted like any position but not dismissed.

  25. BZ on Wed, 17th Jun 2015 1:18 pm 

    So you’re telling me the Bakkens uneconomic? (Have you checked the states surplus, or how it’s been a blessing to so many citizens is that not good enough?)
    So tell me Davy, how and what would you do different to make a “real return”

  26. GregT on Wed, 17th Jun 2015 6:23 pm 

    “So tell me Davy, how and what would you do different to make a “real return””

    Raise oil prices back to where they were before they became unprofitable, and stop financing the oil industry with public debt.

  27. Davy on Wed, 17th Jun 2015 7:06 pm 

    BZ, read the comment. It is yet to be seen whether the U.S. Shale will be a positive macro investment for the U.S. as a whole and not the few that hyped it, cashed in on it, and moved down the road to another group of suckers. There is significant debt yet to be covered.

  28. BZ on Thu, 18th Jun 2015 1:26 pm 

    everyone as a ‘whole’ is benefiting.. You see there are companies like airlines, car industry, and many others that are benefiting from low prices , oil companies are still making a profit on a barrel at $40 . 500K barrels per well at $40 is a profit . Of course 100$ a barrel would be better for some of us but between 60-70 is best for all..
    Everyone is blessed someway somehow sometimes without realizing.. Even your plastic forks will be cheaper
    I’m out of here, you all have a good one ..
    And for those with me , let’s make America energy independent !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *