The Bakken Shale is coming back strong in the months ahead as producers secure more permits and boosted by improved technologies, according to North Dakota officials.

Bakken Production

North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, ND, earlier this month that he had signed orders for another 12,095 wells to be drilled into the play, adding to 16,205 active wells.

Permitting did not slow down at the end of last year, he said, and North Dakota has a 1,200-plus inventory. “We’re still fighting to get back out of an enormous hole created by the pandemic.” 

Helms and others also shared insight into fracturing older wells (refracking), and how enhanced oil recovery (EOR) can boost supply. Using EOR and improved...