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Oxy has no drilling plans for Dunn Co. up to March

MANNING -- Occidental Petroleum Corp. likely won't have any oil drilling or fracking activity in Dunn County through March, a representative told county commissioners Wednesday.

MANNING - Occidental Petroleum Corp. likely won’t have any oil drilling or fracking activity in Dunn County through March, a representative told county commissioners Wednesday.
It’s not too surprising, with the oil price drop and on the heels of news that the company will spend little in the Bakken this year.
The company “virtually eliminated” 2015 capital spending in North Dakota and in some international oil sands plays that have “unacceptable returns in the current price environment,” CEO Steve Chazen said in an earnings call late last month.
Oxy representative Del Oliver’s updates to commissioners had for months been about where the company’s five, maybe six, Dunn County rigs would be moving around for the next month. Wednesday, it was a tale of shutting down.
Oxy has one rig finishing up a well in the county, and then it will be taken out of use within 10 days. A final fracking job was finished Tuesday night, and that equipment will be moved offsite within a week, Oliver told commissioners Wednesday at their meeting in Manning.
“They’re gonna sit for a while,” he said. “It’s all predicated on the price of oil.”
Oxy is a major oil driller in Dunn Co. and the Bakken. Through March, Oxy will just be producing oil from its existing wells. Oliver noted the slight uptick in oil prices seen Tuesday, but still said it’s unclear how soon the prices will reach a “reasonable level.”
Rigs operating in North Dakota have dropped by about 50 since December, due to declining oil prices. Prices have dropped since the summer and has begun to affect drilling and the associated jobs. At first, the the four juiciest Bakken counties - Dunn, Williams, McKenzie and Mountrail - were somewhat immune from the price drop as breakeven price points there are much lower. But Oxy’s exit from Dunn County shows the price drop is hitting even the core of the formation.
The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported 139 active rigs as of Wednesday.
Five of those - four in the core counties - are due to be stacked when they finish their current job.

Lymn is a reporter for The Dickinson Press. Contact her at 701-456-1211.

Related Topics: DUNN COUNTY
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