North Dakota officials have said that a well drilled in the prolific Bakken and Three Forks shale formations will typically produce around 540,000 barrels of oil over its almost three-decade lifespan. This is according to data from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, as reported by the Associated Press.
An average well in the shale plays initially yields about 923 barrels per day of oil but output drops to about half that within the first couple of years, the Associated Press reported. After that, wells produce an average of 76 bpd. Their output can ultimately drop to under 10 bpd towards the end of their lifetime, the agency said.
North Dakota state officials have estimated that a horizontal well costs roughly US$7.9 million to drill up to completion – and it may generate over US$20 million in net profits. Such a well will also result in more than US$4.5 million in taxes and US$7.5 million in royalties, reported the news agency. And each well will generate more than US$2 million in salaries and wages overall. A record 217 rigs are currently drilling in the state, of which almost 95% are in the Bakken and Three Forks. Almost all of them will become productive.
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