Home / News / Bakken News / North Dakota rig count at lowest level since 2010
Getty Images via NewsCred

North Dakota rig count at lowest level since 2010

The number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota’s Bakken formation dropped to 158 this week, the lowest level since November 2010, according to a report by Reuters.

The drop in the rig count is the latest reaction to declining oil prices. In one day, the state lost eight rigs, a dramatic decline that hasn’t been seen in years. In the nation’s second largest oil producing state, rigs are contracted by oil producers to drill vertically and horizontally into the earth. The rigs then pack up and travel to another site, allowing the well to be hydraulically fractured.

Rig counts in North Dakota are closely watched and the decline comes as no surprise. Recently, companies such as Continental Resources, Oasis Petroleum, Halliburton and others announced drastic reductions in spending for the coming year. Companies have also announced plans to cut the number of rigs in operation.

Although technological advances and increased drilling efficiency has led to the use of fewer rigs, many analysts are pointing to low oil prices as the reason for the decrease. Rig counts are widely used as an indicator of an oil field’s viability and health. More rigs means more wells are being drilled and increased production. As of December 2014, North Dakota had 183 rigs in operation. North Dakota’s rig count is updated daily and can be viewed here.

To read the original article by Reuters, click here.

In related news, Rig count trends among major U.S. shale plays.


  1. The Feds need to let us export a little bit.

  2. That comes out to be 1200 associated jobs lost I would rather pay at the pump and see America become the global leader in energy.

  3. Cut imports …or start allowing exports let prices rise some at the pump and keep drilling…still win win

  4. This happened in the 80’s this isn’t a surprise.

  5. Not what I what to see right now!

  6. Stop imports from opec, and prices will skyrocket

  7. I’m wondering if that’s why Hamm’s ex wife decided to cash her check.

  8. Hopefully it will change back soon as they see how much less production they’re getting

  9. I think we all deserve freedom from OPEC as a nation and we would prosper. We and our forefathers have earned it.

  10. I work in the Haynesville shale play in La. And East Tx. Even the gas producers are cutting back rigs.

  11. Hamm let his hedges go in October. They’ll be hurting.

  12. Everybody had the same hysteria in 2010 and look. We were only producing about 600,000 bbl now we are at 1.5 million bbl. production side will be fine. In a few months if the price stays low then they will send the rigs elsewhere but for now just stacked out

  13. ALL THE MORE REASON THAT U.S. SHOULD FREE HERSELF FROM FORIEGN OIL AND DEPEND ON OUR OWN RESOURCES. Sorry for the caps, but I personally think if we focus on our country’s resources, take care of our needs and export to our friendly nations, we can do away with Islamic oil altogether. P.S. Work smarter, not just harder and free our nation from dependence on foriegn oil.

  14. Adam Hegwer sounds like it’s about time you transfer to Duncan.

  15. Hang on, these low oil prices will be distant memory in 6 months. The oil companies are re-strategizing.

    • In that 6 months, how many more will lose jobs? Been through this many times in 35 years, but this is BAD!!

    • I’ll take a six month vacation.

    • The oil companies in the U.S. Do not control the oil price. They can only respond to the market

    • Six months is long enough to lose your home, insurance, car, about everything.

    • Please don’t gripe at me, I am trying to be optimistic here. I was living in North Dakota the last crash during the 1980’s, I know your pain. I lived it. And, if you really want to gripe, vote and encourage others to get the aXX holes out of Washington DC who force us into continuing to import oil. I think we should close the borders, and tell the rest of the world that we have had enough of thier bull ship! If we have a USA product available right here, then we don’t need to be buying it from any where else.

    • We can produce enough oil here to sustain us but and I say but the issue is America wants to keep over seas happy because they are afraid of them. That’s all it boils down to. We can make and produce the same products they can and probably even better at that. So why don’t we? Oh wait we have politicians and congress and a president that thinks they know what’s best for us. Not a single one of them have to walk in our shoes. They get paid no matter what happens to the Country. Oil will go back up but it may be as long as a year. When it does I hope it hits 300 dollars a barrel and all these fools loving these low gas prices can see what it’s like. We all could live with gas prices in December but not all of us can live with the gas prices now. Gas in my town is 1.76 versus 3.99 in Decemeber.

    • $1.66 at Sam’s Club this week. Very sad situation.

  16. That’s why you need to be in the maintenance aspect 🙂

  17. So what’s the problem ? They drilled the wells, reaped huge profits, supply and demand leveled out and now they just need to produce at current levels with fewer pumping stations. Produce enough so we do not have to import one single drop. There are peaks and valleys in car and truck manufacturers, agriculture, manufacturing, construction , etc. Be thankful for what you got.

    • These oil workers have been around the big oil barons too long ..?

    • We are thankful for what we have and that’s why we don’t want to lose it. It’s not a matter of oh you should have been saving. Maybe we did but we can’t keep it saved if we don’t have a job and not everyone knows how build cars or run a fax machine. Maybe all some of us know is how to be a oil field worker. You all will support is with your taxes though.

  18. Well said justin I agree!

  19. Let’s just shut it some well for a week .. that will do it are maybe a month.. then they will be begging for oil..

  20. Rig count was up 2 to 158 last night, so where is it slowing down?

  21. I am in the oilfields and we need to stay positive, the job loss is under the microscope, and understandable. People lose jobs in other industries as well it just doesnt get the media attention this is.. I am not downplaying anyone who has lost their job here, all i am saying is it can happen to anyone and the constant media is causing frenzie that makes it stressful for everyone. We have to let this play out and see what happens. Tightening budgets is what happens in any industry, lets just hope the companies we work for have figured out ways to get through slumps. Just because rigs drop doesnt mean they wont start back up again. We unfortunately are stuck in a waiting period. No one likes to be in.

  22. Theresa Watkins this is scary. Has Justin said anything about any of it?

  23. Yes Keri but he doesn’t seem too concerned, but oasis and continental are their main jobs right now.

  24. Not good I.lived there the first oil boom..was like a ghost town when it was over. DIDnt Last long..Guess THIS One Won’t either..My Sons WILL BE OUT Of A Job…

  25. It is long way from over will slow down but not over first prediction from continental was 9 to 18 mos slow down now third quarter supposed to start pickin up that’s 6 mos no need to jump out windows or hang ourselves yet

  26. Not good for me have mineral rights in ND

  27. Halliburton made billions….if they were true Americans they can take a little loss on our behalf…

  28. Husband just got laid off. All of you happy about this can pay our mortgage, car payments, health insurance, etc with all the money you’re saving on gas

  29. Opec – depends on opec. Anything. Can happen – can go either way, be prepared

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *