Operational efficiency is improving across the Bakken-Three Forks tight oil play. US Energy Information Administration
projections show the average rig working in the play was expected to add 486 b/d of production in March 2014, nearly 50% more than the amount added by the average rig in March 2013 (Fig. 1).
Improved efficiency means fewer rigs are needed to maintain production growth.
Output from the Bakken-Three Forks was roughly 1 million b/d in January 2014, compared with 800,000 b/d in the year-earlier period (Fig. 2).
Rick Bott, president and chief operating officer of Continental Resources Inc., summed up the trend in a February investor presentation, saying: "Efficiencies have been the story of the Bakken for all operators."