Skip to comments.N.D. tops Alaska on oil
Posted on 05/15/2012 6:43:26 AM PDT by thackney
North Dakota passed Alaska in March to become the second-leading state in crude oil production, trailing only Texas, according to preliminary figures released Monday.
North Dakota produced an average of 575,490 barrels of crude oil every day in March, another record, according to Lynn Helms, director of the states Department of Mineral Resources. The crude is coming from a record 6,636 wells. In February, the state produced 558,255 barrels and had 6,450 wells.
The number of rigs drilling in the state was at 208 on Monday, about where it has been for eight months, including a record 212 drilling for a day or two earlier this month.
North Dakotas new record output of crude surpassed the steadily declining output of Alaska, which saw its production fall to 567,481 barrels per day in March, down nearly 15,000 barrels per day from February, said Stephen McMains of the states Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Monday.
Meanwhile, Texas production has been rising steadily by 12 percent since September, to 1.72 million barrels per day in February, the latest figures available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which tracks state and federal crude oil production. Meg Coleman, a geologist with the EIA, said preliminary figures make it appear Texas production increased in March.
Fueled by the Bakken boom in the Williston Basin in the western part of the state, North Dakotas oil production has nearly quadrupled since March 2007, when it averaged 118,103 barrels per day.
In December, North Dakotas crude production eclipsed California for the third ranking. California produced 540,000 barrels a day in February, and it will remain about the same when March figures are released later this month, said Gordon Schremp of the states energy commission.
Helms said in an email to the Herald on Monday evening that North Dakotas figures will be released in full Tuesday, showing March output was right in line with the average monthly increase the past year in daily production of 16,500 barrels. Natural gas production also is at record levels.
But he expects production in April and May may have slowed as weight restrictions imposed on thawing roads slowed down water hauling, which is key for the hydraulic fracturing crews who work on the newly drilled wells to get the oil flowing in the tight Bakken and Three Forks formations.
The top four producing states accounted for 55 percent of the nations total crude output in February of 6.144 million barrels a day, according to EIA.
Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said he was surprised when told Monday that Alaskas trend downward already appeared to have dipped below North Dakotas five-year ascending production.
Holy cow, I didnt think it would happen this fast, he said.
The warm, dry winter in North Dakota was a big contrast to the snowy, cold months Alaska experienced, Ness pointed out.
Alaska has seen decreasing production for decades, since pumping out more than 2 million barrels a day in the 1970s.
The rig count in North Dakota has remained relatively constant for the past eight months or more, Ness said, at 204 to 209 most of the time, including a record high this month of 212 for a day or two.
I think we are seeing more of a transition from exploration into more of a development phase, Ness said Monday. I think we are settled in here where companies are really concentrating on efficiency and running drilling rigs off the pads, so you will see the rig count appears to be stabilized.
We have seen a lot of companies coming in with new technologies . . . coming in from all over the world, Ness said.
North Dakota Field Production of Crude Oil
Alaska Field Production of Crude Oil
I say again, PRIVATE land.
This is why the federal government wants to keep millions of square miles of western land locked up. They KNOW those states would become rich and powerful from the minerals under those lands. And those states would tell the federal government to piss up a rope when it comes to silly environmental regulations.
wasn’t Ted Turner buying up the whole state awhile back? I am guessing he must of got advance notice of what was coming with regard to this oil shale boom.
And too many Alaskans, even so called conservatives, still are trying to rape the oil companies here in Alaska. What a crying shame!
I believe they are going to learn in the not so distant future, what it is like to pay more of your own taxes, Many just believe the golden goose will lay more eggs if you just squeeze it hard enough.
Far too many believe the oil companies have no choice. They ignore what is going on in other locations. There are several good choices for their investment dollars.
I have read another article that said Tesoro is buying a whole bunch of rail cars to buy oil from North Dakota and they are scaling back operations in Alaska. Nice. And the people here are whining about their PFD. It is sickening what the lure of money does to people.
I think Ted was buying up Montana, not North Dakota
Sad though. Alaska would be cleaning ND’s clock (and maybe Texas too) if ANWR was open for business. The pipeline is running at, maybe, 30% capacity, and there is a boatload of oil up there.
The optimistic projects of ANWR would add a million barrels a day at its peak. It would jump back ahead of ND, assuming ND doesn’t stay on the fast climbing rise. But another million would still leave you behind Texas, and we are climbing faster than ND.
Texas added about half million a day in the last year. In the same time, ND added just over 200k.
That’s pretty AWESOME, thanks for the numbers. Maybe our taxes won’t have to skyrocket then...