Bakken Shale is On the Rebound

oil gauging tapes

For the past few years, the massive shale deposit known as the Bakken Formation has taken North Dakota’s economy on something of a roller coaster ride.

As suppliers of plumb bobs and oil gauging tapes, this is something that caught our attention. There was a time when the Bakken shale was a key part of the American shale oil craze.

“Activity was so hot that McDonald’s employees were raking in $20 an hour to feed the burger and fry-hungry oil workers,” writes Jude Clemente in Forbes. “It was the great Bakken that gave North Dakota the fastest growing GDP per capita rate in the country.”

And while the 2014 oil price collapse hurt the Bakken shale, the region has been on the rebound for some time, with the number of rigs reaching 60, compared to the low point of 24 two years ago.

“The efficiency improvements and cost reductions continue to impress,” Clemente writes. “In March, the Dallas Fed Energy Survey put the average breakeven price to profitably drill a new well in the Bakken at $50, with the $40-60 range of responses easily the tightest of the group. Take Hess, the number three player in the play, now upping Bakken spend by $900 million this year, or nearly 30%.”

And although the Bakken will stay the most price sensitive of the three major shale oil deposits, it may surpass the $1.3 billion mark for total output, assuming favorable weather and road conditions.

What you should know about oil gauging tapes

No matter which part of the country they’re working in, people working with oil tanks need accurate, reliable oil gauging tapes.

These are invaluable tools for those who need to measure the depth of oil in storage tanks and other containers. There are two techniques for doing this: innage and outage.

Innage is the more common of the two methods. It involves simply lowering the tape into a tank until the tip of the tape’s plumb bob touches the bottom. Once you reel in the tape, just read the depth of the liquid in the tank by seeing where the tape is wet.

The outage method

An outage tape looks at the distance between the surface of the liquid to the lip of the tank. It can be tough to tell where the top of the liquid begins, which is why graduated plumb bobs are slowly lowered just until they touch the liquid.

The plumb bob’s graduations start where the bob is attached to the tape and get higher. The reading on the bob is added to the reading on the tape to tell the total empty portion of the tank. Subtract the empty space from the total depth of the tank to figure out how much liquid is inside.

Are oil gauging tapes accurate?

At U.S. Tape, every oil gauging tape we sell meets both Mil Spec. #A-A-52216 and American Petroleum Institute Standard 2545, both of which deal with the method for identifying the accuracy of a tank.

If you have other questions about these tapes, we’d be happy to answer them for you. Contact us today to find the tape that’s right for you.

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