North Dakota producers are selling off their Bakken acreage and
assets in response to declining prices as more than 5% of the
state's producing wells await transfer approval, according to the
state's Department of Mineral Resources.
"Probably the biggest thing that we see happening right now at [the]
oil and gas division is mergers and acquisitions," Lynn Helms,
director of North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources, said
during a Wednesday briefing.
Helms said more operators are selling off their acreage "to improve
cash flow and watch their bottom line."
Late Wednesday, Helms' agency released a list of 644 wells currently
held by 13 operators that are currently pending approval from state
officials to be transferred to new operators. North Dakota had
13,174 producing wells in October, an all-time high, according to
state data released this week.
The transfer requests date as far back to August 2014 and there
are other requests which have yet to be made public, said Alison
Ritter, a DMR spokeswoman, Thursday.
The largest transfer request is from Occidental Petroleum, which has
requested the green light to transfer 346 wells to Lime Rock
Resources, a private equity fund. Occidental agreed to sell all of
its North Dakota acreage and asset to Lime Rock earlier this year.
Other larger transfer requests include Whiting Oil & Gas
transferring 80 wells to White Rock Oil & Gas and 42 wells to Cobra
Oil & Gas; Legacy Oil + Gas transferring 92 wells to Crescent Point
Energy; and the transfer of 87 wells from American Eagle Energy to
Resource Energy Can-Am.
Helms announced Thursday that the state produced an average of
nearly 1.17 million b/d of crude in October, up from over 1.16
million b/d in September.
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh,
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