How Bakken Services Evolve

By Luke Geiver | September 17, 2014

The move to multiwell pads and full field development in the Bakken has created a trickledown effect for every service linked to oil and gas production. In a play that demands efficiency in every process today more than ever, service models acceptable five years ago have changed. In some cases, the change has come through the addition of new offerings or products and can best be described with the common industry term we all know as a one-stop shop. In other instances, businesses have reigned in their scope, and of course, some service providers have simply turned to innovative new products or approaches.

This month, our team covered the evolution and expansion of several services in the feature article Bakken Service Trends. With the understanding that writing about every Bakken staple service would require a book-length piece, we chose unique service providers who highlight the industry’s changing needs, demand for innovation and acceptance of anything that can be done cheaper, faster or safer.

From the companies mentioned in the proppant-in-a-box section of the story, to the welding gas supplier, world-renowned energy service provider or nationally known equipment and tool source, the piece created a difficult situation for our team during its creation. Before we started, we had to ask ourselves: how do you write about a welding gas supplier and a completion consultant in a single piece? Our answer came quickly: you don’t. Instead of weaving every service provider’s story into one long piece, we included only the main elements of each provider’s story and let the combination of all the ministories speak for themselves. The theme and connective thread between every story is easy to recognize.

In The Bakken’s Airspace, an article detailing the current demand and use of aviation services and the future of the Williston Basin region’s skies, we took a similar approach. Emily Aasand covered the present need for private flight services to move oil executives and well services teams into and out of the region. Patrick C. Miller tackled the future of the Bakken, writing about the not-so-far-off reality of unmanned aerial systems as a Bakken service used to monitor pipelines, infrastructure and road conditions at the push of a button.

In the near-term reality category, check out what Dave Williams is doing on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Through the formation of Missouri River Resources, Williams and his team will soon become the first ever tribally owned and operated exploration and production company in the Bakken. Like the many unique services mentioned in this issue, the Missouri River Resources team is just one more reason for the Bakken’s many industry members to be proud about the evolution of the play. The unofficial theme of the Bakken continues to include a push for efficiency, innovation, safety and positive change. Why else would a proppant-in-a-box supplier, national equipment supplier focused on safety or a tribal-based exploration and production company exist in Western North Dakota?