BISMARCK – North Dakota’s oil production fell to more than one million barrels of oil per day in July after a recent drop.
In July, the state produced more than 1.040 million barrels of oil per day, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported on Tuesday. That’s an increase from the final June figure, when the state produced 893,591 barrels of oil per day. In May, the state produced slightly less than in June.
The production of natural gas has also increased. North Dakota produced 71 billion cubic feet of natural gas in July. The gas capture rate was 91% (over 64 billion cubic feet per day) in July. In June, the state produced more than 59 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The gas capture rate was 89% (over 52 billion cubic feet per day).
Production figures are normally around two months behind schedule.
North Dakota Light Sweet crude was priced at $ 29.25 per barrel on Friday and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $ 37.26. The North Dakota market estimate was $ 33.25. ND Light Sweet’s all-time high was $ 136.29 per barrel on July 3, 2008 and WTI was $ 145.29 per barrel, also on July 3, 2008.
Fifty-nine wells were completed in July and 14,406 wells were in production that month, according to Tuesday’s report. Both are preliminary figures. There were 3,762 inactive wells and 878 wells awaiting completion in July.
Lynn Helms, director of the mineral resources department, said the number of well completions has been very volatile since March, with the number of active completion teams increasing from 25 to 1 to 5.
He said the falling price of crude oil has put extreme downward pressure on the number of rigs and finishing crews.
Helms said unemployment allegations pointed to around 11,000 layoffs as of Sept. 5, with more jobs at risk due to volatile oil prices.
The report also notes that the Fort Berthold reserve produced 251,216 barrels (preliminary) of oil. Four rigs were working on the reserve and 2,453 wells were active. The reservation had 163 wells awaiting completion.
The state’s drilling license activity is slower and more volatile with the volatility of oil prices, according to Helms. “Operators always try to maintain a permit inventory of approximately 12 months and experienced drilling and finishing crews” he said.