The state of North Dakota—home of the Bakken shale oil boom—reported recently that oil production there had held steady, despite that the number of new producing wells had dropped drastically. But as I found from digging into the data, the drop-off in well completions was not nearly as steep as North Dakota had said—and that the apparent “silver lining” in the data is not there. It’s free to read because it was shared by the author. In mid-January, when the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources released its latest update on the Bakken oil boom—the “Director’s Cut,” a summary compiled by the Department’s Director, petroleum engineer Lynn Helms—I was surprised by the data. But I wasn’t the only one surprised. In presenting the latest data, through November 2014, […]