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VERY PRODUCTIVE: State of North Dakota sets records for both oil and gas production

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Call the burly U.S. State as the little state that could - oil and natural gas production were at a record high there this past summer, with the number of wells currently producing both oil and natural gas reaching a record high for July, state resource officials say.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Altogether, there were 9,322 wells in production during July, an all-time high, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission of the Department of Mineral Resources. Nearly all were targeting the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

The rig count decreased from June to July, Lynn Helms, director of the NDIC says, but the number of wells completed increased from 102 to 251, leading to an increase in oil production in the state.

Output growth picks up pace every summer in North Dakota when warm weather allows for more drilling and completion work. "A lot of (fracking) crews sat idle in May and June because it was wet and they couldn't get frack sand to the wells," Helms said.

But more than a hundred wells were completed - fracked and connected to gathering lines - once the weather cleared at the end of June, he said.

Still, nearly 460 wells were awaiting completion in July as companies continue to use a more efficient drilling method called pad drilling that is adding wells faster than they can be fracked.

The NDIC said July oil production was 108,258 barrels per day, a record high. A record for natural gas production was set at 970 million cubic feet per day.

Parts of North Dakota may contain as much as 7.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates. The state is only in the No. 2 spot behind Texas in terms of production of natural resources in the United States.

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