Focus On Technology Underscores Main Bakken Theme

By Luke Geiver | January 01, 2016

An under told, sometimes untold, story has emerged from this month’s issue on oilfield technology in the Bakken. Despite the activity-related realities of low oil prices, new entities are entering the Bakken.  Oil prices aren’t low enough to gloss over the apparent opportunities several segment specific entities believe exist in the Williston Basin circa 2016. New-to-the-Bakken operators from Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas are taking over both legacy wells and undeveloped leaseholds with an eye on both the near- and long-term. Former oil executives are raising private capital to acquire existing assets and production. Private equity groups are forming just to partake in the Bakken play.

As we found out in our efforts to detail some of the more interesting or promising technologies coming soon or recently launched there are numerous reasons why companies are eyeing the Bakken.

Low oil prices are certainly a reason to push a new product to upstream or midstream entities. As existing companies work to cut costs, any product or service that can change the bottom-line dynamic is welcome. In many cases, however, new products are entering the Bakken despite the price of oil. New products and technology packages come from the competitive nature of an unconventional play. Continued revenue requires constant innovation and a better offering, we were told. There are simply too many entities that offer a similar service or product in the massive oil and gas space to remain idle and keep product lines stagnant. The quest for more efficient operations in the field or the boardroom is also a gigantic reason why new products are being brought to the Bakken. New regulations, which always seem to be part of the Bakken, are also a reason new tech hits the Bakken market. In the end, we learned the negative of a low oil price is not enough to deter the product developer or the potential client from researching or investing in a new product or a producing well or field-related asset.

Following the work put into this issue looking at oilfield technology offerings, I expected to comment on some of the impressive or unique things coming to the Bakken. You can read about a few of them in our page 16 feature. The real theme for this issue, one that was certainly unforeseen but also one we should have expected, is instead about the reality that low oil prices simply do not have the ability to overshadow one of the things the Bakken is, and always has been about: innovation and opportunity.

Luke Geiver
Editor
The Bakken magazine
lgeiver@bbiinternational.com