Oil production takes dip

Eloise Ogden/MDN Pumping units are shown in the Medora area June 25. North Dakota’s oil production has dipped slightly but remains over 1 million barrels of oil a day.

BISMARCK – North Dakota had a slight dip in oil production with 1.040 million barrels of oil a day produced in May, down 10,345 barrels from April’s production figures.

The most recent oil and gas production numbers were released by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources on Friday. The all-time high was 1.2 million barrels of oil a day produced in December 2014.

The state produced 1.8 MCF a day natural gas, an increase of 17,975 MCF compared to April’s figures.

North Dakota reached a preliminary new all-time high of 13,876 producing wells in May.

As of Friday, the North Dakota sweet crude price was $35.25 a barrel, according to Flint Hills Resources.

On Friday, 58 rigs were actively working in the oil field. The all-time high was 218 on May 29, 2012. One rig was actively drilling on federal surface in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. On the Fort Berthold Reservation 13 rigs were drilling. The reservation is producing 212,548 barrels of oil per day from 1,665 active wells.

Lynn Helms, director of the Mineral Resources Department, said if the West Texas Intermediate drops below $45 a barrel for more than 30 days the rig count is expected to drop.

He said the number of well completions increased slightly from 53 (final number) in April to 58 (preliminary) in May.

He said oil price weakness is now anticipated to last through this calendar year. “OPEC met the last week of June and decide to extend production cuts for nine months. The markets are watching to see if U.S. shale production offsets OPEC cuts keeping crude oil inventories high.”