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Rick Muncrief, Senior VP Operations of Continental Resources

A study by Wood Mackenzie said new drilling practices may have driven breakeven prices for some Bakken shale oil to $58 per barrel.

Analysts previously thought $70 per barrel was the lowest breakeven for Bakken producers, Reuters said.

Multi-well pad drilling is bringing the average cost per well down to $7.5 million this year, Wood Mackenzie analyst Jonathan Garret told Reuters.

“You’re now drilling 3, 4, 12, even 16 wells from a single pad,” Garret said.

Multi-pad drilling means less equipment and manpower is needed to drill multiple wells.

More than 90 percent of wells drilled in the Bakken this year will be from multi-well pads, Garret said.

Bakken shale is largely in North Dakota but also stretches into Montana and into Canada.

“Continental Resources remains the largest player there with over 1.2 million acres,” Reuters said.

“In 2013, the company reported its average costs per well were about $8 million and is targeting costs of $7.5 million this year, which supports Wood Mackenzie’s projections.”