Sunday, January 28, 2018

North Dakota On Track For New Crude Oil Production Record In 2018 -- Zacks -- January 28, 2018

From Zacks.
As per North Dakota’s oil regulator, the state’s daily crude output rose 0.9% in November after climbing 6.9% in the previous month.

Reflecting a healthy increase, the newest numbers confirm the resurgence in volumes extracted from North Dakota, centered on the Bakken Shale formation. As daily output consolidated above 1 million barrels for the tenth month in a row, the state’s total number of producing wells numbered 14,324 at the end of November, a new all-time high.

Interestingly, natural gas output was up 1.4% in November to 2,095,342 thousand cubic feet per day – another record – as operators scrambled to the core areas of the Bakken where wells tend to produce more gas along with crude.

Some 54 drilling rigs were active in the state in November. The all-time low of 27 was set in May 2016, while a year ago, North Dakota had just 37 rigs operating. A closely watched yardstick of North Dakota oil industry's strength, the year-over-year improvement in the number of units searching for oil and gas in the region indicates essentially steady drilling activities and production. However, the rig count is still down considerably from the peak of May 2012 when North Dakota had 218 units drilling.

More rigs in operation and stable production not only confirms the positive developments for the state of North Dakota, but also points to the rising flood of U.S. shale-driven production.

Now at a financial equilibrium, the shale firms are putting more rigs and employees back to work. Throughout the downturn, producers (in North Dakota and particularly the Permian Basin in Texas) worked tirelessly to cut costs down to a bare minimum and look for innovative ways to churn out more oil from rock. And they managed to do just that by improving drilling techniques.

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