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Where next for the Bakken?

Producers are making the North Dakota tight oil play an attractive place to drill again, but it will struggle to compete with the Permian

The Bakken, a vast shale formation under the plains of North Dakota where the US tight oil business took off less than a decade ago, has fallen into the shadows of the more productive Permian and Eagle Ford basins. Oil production in the Bakken has stagnated at around 1m barrels a day since mid-2016. Some analysts say output will never get back to its late-2015 peak, when it topped 1.2m b/d. Amid the stalled production and hotter growth prospects elsewhere, investors have fled Bakken-focused drillers. However, there are signs that the Bakken's top producers are starting to make the economics of drilling the play more enticing. Rystad, a consultancy, pegs the wellhead breakeven for top operat

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