Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.

The Bakken is back on track, save for a few speed bumps

In terms of oil production, those in the industry often look for an important benchmark: a million barrels per day. North Dakota's Bakken region regularly cleared this benchmark during the height of the oil boom in the region, before falling short for some time.

The Bakken is back at producing above the benchmark. However, it's not all smooth sailing. While oil producing companies are drilling Bakken wells at breakneck speeds, they are also drilling them faster than they can be brought online due to a shortage of trained workers, according to a recent article by The Bismarck Tribune.

Lack of skilled hands

Oil companies are publicly expressing frustration at the lack of experienced workers to staff the resurging oil fields in North Dakota and the surrounding states.

Currently, many companies are drilling wells but lack the personnel to hydraulically fracture them, a controversial well stimulation process that blasts water and other particles into drilled rock in order to create cracks which allow for the free flow of oil.

It's estimated that some 830 wells have been drilled but are still awaiting fracking crews as of May, a figure that remained unchanged from the previous month.

While it has been planned to reduce the backlog, a lack of trained fracking crews has put a damper on plans.

How oil is faring in North Dakota

After a region-wide downturn, oil production is faring well in the Bakken. However, industry insiders are cautioning against reading too deeply into current numbers, saying that the effects of recent changes, including the DAPL pipeline implementation, will take months before they're reflected in oil prices and other numbers.

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