Along with record oil output, the Bakken’s associated gas production is rising at an even faster pace, according to the ESAI Energy report. While crude oil production has increased by 19% over this time last year, natural gas volumes have climbed by 29%. The large increase in natural gas production is continuing to strain gas processing capabilities, resulting in North Dakota failing to meet its gas capture goals. Although processing capacity is being added by the end of this year, constraints on NGL takeaway will last into 2020 when a new long-haul NGL pipeline will be completed. Despite these infrastructure bottlenecks, ESAI projects Bakken crude oil to reach 1.5 million bpd by the end of 2019 and continue to grow into 2020.
“Unlike the other major shale basins, the Bakken is still showing large gains in rig productivity,” ESAI analyst Elisabeth Murphy explains. “If this productivity is sustained, it will create better economics for production outside of the core, giving producers more confidence to drill and complete more wells during a volatile oil price environment”.
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