Being a news-junkey, I try to keep an eye on current events. There is one topic, though, that I wasn’t specifically looking for, I would miss it: oil production from North Dakota.
Quick quiz, how many of you knew that December 2012 was a record-setting month for North Dakota? Trick question because it’s moot. That record has fallen, writes Brian Hicks at the Energy & Capital website:
The Bakken Chart You Have to See to Believe
North Dakota did it again.
It demolished previous records in oil production for December 2012.
The latest numbers released last Friday by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources showed the state produced 768,800 barrels of oil a day for December.
That’s up 33,000 barrels a day — or nearly 5% from November 2012 — and yet another all-time record.
That’s right. An all-time record high in oil production for North Dakota.
Take a look at the chart provided by Dr. Mark Perry of the Carpe Diem blog:
If this chart were of a stock, I’d be shorting the hell out of it, because it has essentially gone hyperbolic.
But it’s not.
It’s NoDak’s oil production.
And right now, there no signs that oil production in the Bakken is going to slow down any time soon.
North Dakota’s Industrial Commission released a study last month saying 95% of drilling in North Dakota targets the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, and according to the Energy Information Administration, the Bakken accounts for 90% of North Dakota’s oil production. Three Forks runs along the outside of the Bakken Shale.
In total, the Industrial Commission estimates 6.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil are available in the Bakken and Three Forks formations. Only 244 million barrels have been recovered so far.
How long can the boom continue?
If my math is correct, at current production levels and the reserve estimate cited above, the Bakken boom can last at least another 25 years. And that’s assuming reserve estimates don’t go up.