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Photo: Tim Evanson via Flickr.

Is it the beginning of the end for the Bakken?

On March 1, 2017, petroleum geologist Art Berman wrote, “It’s the beginning of the end for the Bakken Shale play.”

Berman gives several reasons why the Bakken oil fields will never return to its former glory. Here are the highlights:

  1. A decline in production that began January 2015. Berman says its “probably not reversible.
  2. New well performance has deteriorated.
  3. Gas-oil ratios have increased and water cuts are rising.
  4. Reservoir energy from gas expansion is depleted, and decline rates will likely accelerate.

“Oil reserves for 2012 wells averaged 343,000 barrels but only 229,000 barrels for 2015 wells–a 33% decrease in well performance.”

Be sure to read Berman’s entire article and see the graphs to illustrate his points at Forbes.com.


  1. Strange to see an anti Bakken article in a Bakken.com site with no analysis or challenge. Will no longer be visiting this site and am canceling my subscription.

    • Hello, Jon. The article is not intended to be “Anti-Bakken,” but instead to provide readers with a wide range of perspectives on energy and drilling. Our readers demand and expect a comprehensive array of viewpoints. It’s more about understanding what drives drilling, the markets, demand, and what motivates production but also what might impede it, from those on the ground to those who are working behind the scenes and within energy legislation. If we don’t understand the other side of the story, we cannot understand what might motivate those who believe oil and gas drilling should subside or even be terminated. We want to cover all angles of the industry, no matter what someone’s viewpoint.

      We are always willing to take submissions, so anyone can give their perspective on the state of the industry. Please feel free to submit your perspectives via email to the website, using the email address news at(@) bakken.com or via Facebook message. We welcome our readers’ perspectives.

      Sincerely, Bakken.com editorial staff

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