North Dakota Oil Production Hits Record High

WATFORD CITY, ND - JULY 28: Sections of pipe wait to be welded together and placed into the ground sit in preparation on July 28, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota. North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom in recent years, due in part to new drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In April 2013, The United States Geological Survey released a new study estimating the Bakken formation and surrounding oil fields could yield up to 7.4 billion barrels of oil, doubling their estimate of 2008, which was stated at 3.65 billion barrels of oil.
National Journal
Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Dec. 13, 2013, 11:39 a.m.

Oil out­put in North Dakota reached a re­cord high for the state in Oc­to­ber, with pro­duc­tion rising to just over 941,000 bar­rels per day, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the North Dakota De­part­ment of Min­er­al Re­sources.

Nat­ur­al-gas out­put also climbed to a high of slightly more than 1.07 bil­lion cu­bic feet per day.

“We set a new pro­duc­tion re­cord again in Oc­to­ber and had a well-re­cord both in oil and nat­ur­al gas,” Lynn Helms, the de­part­ment dir­ect­or, said dur­ing a press call Fri­day.

Helms noted, however, that the up­tick in pro­duc­tion from Septem­ber to Oc­to­ber, which re­gistered as an in­crease of ap­prox­im­ately 8,600 bar­rels per day, was less than ex­pec­ted.

“It was maybe a little bit lackluster in terms of the pro­duc­tion in­crease, less than what we would have maybe an­ti­cip­ated for the amount of drilling and well-com­ple­tion go­ing on out there,” he said.

Heavy rains in North Dakota’s McK­en­zie County lead­ing to road clos­ures that las­ted sev­er­al days were to blame for tep­id pro­duc­tion gains, Helms said, es­tim­at­ing that out­put would likely have been 10,000 to 15,000 bar­rels a day high­er in dry weath­er.

When asked when he ex­pects the state to hit the pro­duc­tion threshold of 1 mil­lion bar­rels of crude per day, Helms said that will likely hap­pen early next year as state of­fi­cials have pre­vi­ously es­tim­ated.

“We’ve al­ways been pre­dict­ing that that would come early next year so even with what happened in Oc­to­ber … all it does is post­pone it. It doesn’t mean we’re not go­ing to get there,” he said.

The surge of pro­duc­tion in North Dakota’s oil patch has been a ma­jor driver of in­creased do­mest­ic crude out­put over­all. And earli­er this month, the En­ergy In­form­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­leased data in­dic­at­ing that U.S. crude pro­duc­tion re­cently reached a 25-year high.

The Census Bur­eau also re­leased data this week show­ing that many counties in North Dakota have seen house­hold in­comes rise at a much faster pace in re­cent years than most counties across the coun­try.

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