Eye on Energy: Bright Future For Bakken

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The head of the state Department of Mineral Resources says the future of drilling in the Bakken is still bright, even with the ongoing price slump.

Lynn Helms was in Minot for the Petroleum Council’s annual meeting last week.

He told the group how three price scenarios for oil prices would hit the state.

The most likely, he says, is a slow recovery into next year where prices hit a level about mid-year where drillers start putting in more rigs by the end of the year.

Another predicts prices jumping quickly and bringing rig numbers up more quickly.

And the third looks at a long, drawn-out period of low prices.

(Lynn Helms, N.D. Department of Mineral Resources) “That’s not the expected case but I want people to know what that looks like too. And that one still results in a well count of 55,000 by the end of the drilling of the Bakken. We’re at 13,000 right now so even 55,000 means we’re not 25% of the way done. 75% to 80% of the drilling and adding of jobs is still ahead.”

Helms says the level of uncertainty in the industry over prices is simply delaying when higher drilling levels resums in the Bakken region.

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