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The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

The Destruction That Awaits

The ponzi elements of the shale story start to implode
Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 3:31 PM
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Executive Summary

  • Predicting when US shale oil production will peak
  • Why these lower oil prices *must* result in substantially lower US shale production
  • How the 'shale miracle' indeed has numerous ponzi elements that are on the brink of collapsing
  • Expect a tsunami of shale bankruptcies to arrive soon

If you have not yet read Part 1:The Dangerous Economics of Shale Oil available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Production Workflow, Timelines, National Projections

Now let's zoom out, from one company in the Bakken to the whole Bakken region, which is probably the best shale region in the US. My key source of information about the current trends in the Bakken region is the Department of Mineral Resources in North Dakota, website here: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas. Every month the Director (Lynn Helms) produces the “Director's Cut”, a just-the-facts summary of oil production in North Dakota. Yes, it really is called the Director's Cut.

So now that we have an idea of when wells are profitable, we can use the Director's Cut stats to track all the stages of producing oil, to see how the region reacts to the change in oil prices. We have, in order of workflow:

  • drilling permits

  • rig counts

  • wells awaiting completion

  • well counts

  • monthly production

The spreadsheet segment below shows each element from the Director's cut. We can see permits, rig counts, wells awaiting completion, total well counts, and total production. From these numbers we can calculate some other interesting details.

But first, look at the production month-over-month change. It went negative in October. That's because...

 

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