Serving The Bakken And Beyond

North Dakota Operators Get Well Completion Delays

Lower crude oil prices and drought conditions prompted the ND Industrial Commission to extend its program of granting waivers on well plugging and non-completing wells for another six months.

The action was taken on June 30, as the commission weighed giving operators more time to do well completions in a more positive oil price environment.

The number of wells waiting on completion is 830, up 141 from the end of March to the end of April, according to the ND Dept. of Mineral Resources.

The estimated inactive well count in North Dakota is 1,466, up 167 from the end of March to the end of April.

If Bakken crude oil prices return to $50 a barrel or higher, completions are expected to accelerate.

The commission may waive plugging and reclaiming of an abandoned well for good cause if circumstances for the delay are explained by the operator. A non-completed waiver can only be given to wells that have been drilled but whose casing has not yet been perforated.