The New, Different and Enhanced Bakken

By Luke Geiver | September 10, 2016

There has always been a fascination with the Bakken. For media, the play has always offered an interesting angle for a buzzworthy story that has nationwide appeal. Oil and gas professionals often say the Williston Basin has been and will always be a proving ground for the newest technologies and strategies suitable for unconventional oil and gas development. Investors—from mineral asset teams to entrepreneurs to Wall Street fund managers—have found enormous success betting big on the Bakken. With depressed oil prices and the resulting drilling and completion activity decreases during the past 12-plus months and counting, some might argue the luster or positive aura surrounding the Bakken has faded.

How often do those of us involved with the play get asked, or even told, by folks outside the Bakken’s day-to-day operation, about the Bakken’s demise? Our team’s experience is: very frequently, and what we’re told suggests that things aren’t good and that production in the play has basically stopped. But, those involved in the Bakken are probably laughing right now, knowing how far off base that assessment actually is.

This month’s content offers a great glimpse into the real state of the Bakken. Sentiment from many of the stories is linked to a sense of optimism and a willingness to expand, enter or continue at a time when many might think the only thing to do is stay idle. From updates on new investment groups formed just to target the Bakken, to technology developers telling us there has never been a better time to bring new tech to the Williston Basin, it is apparent that the Bakken has not only survived the low oil price environment, but that many of the main players are planning for revamped activity levels. While oil price analysts continue to flip-and-flop on future projections through 2017, there is a new story brewing in the Bakken that you can see taking place through the stories from this issue. It has to do with change, adaptation and new strategy implementation. It is clear that partaking in those actions is worth it to the vast majority of the Bakken community. Bakken 2.0, as the North Dakota Petroleum Council is calling it, is just beginning and this new version appears to be both different and enhanced.

Luke Geiver
The Bakken magazine