November 11, 2009

North Dakota leaps to fourth in oil production

North Dakota leaps to fourth in oil production
Mountrail County leads oil producing counties
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR
North Dakota’s oil production took a huge leap and is now fourth in the nation, surpassed only by Texas, Alaska and California.
And Mountrail County sits at the top of a list of 16 oil producing counties in North Dakota, churning out more than double what Bowman or McKenzie counties are producing.
A report released last week by the Energy Information Administration indicates that North Dakota has now passed Louisiana in crude oil production to move up to fourth from seventh on the national list of oil producing states.
May, which is the most current month complete statistics are available, saw North Dakota produce 6.38 million barrels of crude oil, compared to Louisiana’s 6.34 million barrels. The report also indicated that North Dakota’s average daily production was 206,000 barrels compared to Louisiana’s 205,000 barrels.
Horizontal drilling technology in the rich Bakken shale formation, which sits below Mountrail County, as well as the Three Forks/Sanish formation, are reasons for the sharp increase in production, according to Steve Grape, an engineer with Energy Information Administration that released the report.
Oddly enough, North Dakota’s production in 2008 was also at an all-time high of 62.8 million barrels. That was up nearly 20 percent over 2007 and placed North Dakota seventh on the list of oil producing states, up from ninth in 2007.
Grape said oil companies are having great success drilling new wells in the Bakken and it doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.
 


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