North Dakota sets another oil production record


1) The state’s oil production increased 43.7% in December above a year earlier, and followed annual increases of 44% in November and 52.8% in October. It has taken only about 18 months for daily oil production in North Dakota to more than double from 364,160 bpd in May of 2011 to more than 768,000 bpd in December.

2) The Bakken region in western North Dakota produced more than 700,000 bpd in December for the first time ever, setting a new all-time output record of 704,360 bpd, which also represented the Bakken’s highest share ever of the state’s monthly oil production at 91.6%. In contrast, the Bakken region produced less than 9% of the state’s oil output at the beginning of 2007, before hydraulic fracturing revolutionized domestic oil production in the shale-rich states of North Dakota and Texas.

3) The number of active oil wells in North Dakota increased to 7,993 in December establishing another new state record. Over the last year through December, more than seven new oil wells were put into production every business day, and each of those new wells is the equivalent of adding a new $8-10 million business to the state’s economy, see recent CD post for more details.

4) The amount of oil produced per active well in North Dakota increased to a new record-high of 2,982 barrels per well, which was almost 12% above the oil output per well a year earlier, and likely reflects the increased efficiency gains from advanced drilling technologies like “pad drilling” that are gaining popularity in North Dakota’s oil industry.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • awfulorv

    But! But! But! I recall many of those days were below freezing, quite often below zero, and it even snowed at times. Congratulations to the hard working oil field workers for the record. Conversely, our noble civil servants of Washington D.C.,many of whom were given their cushy jobs not on merit, but because of their minority status, were not required to even come to work, due to inclement weather, on many of those days. Which may explain why our Federal Government is so F—ed up.