BISMARCK The preliminary November data released Tuesday by the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division indicates North Dakota now is producing more than half a million barrels of oil per day.
That's about 510,000 barrels produced a day in the month of November.
"This is big news for the state and the country. A half a million barrels a day represents about 10 percent of U.S. production. That's enough oil to displace imports from Iraq or Columbia," said Lynn Helms, Bismarck, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, in a news release issued Tuesday. The Oil and Gas Division is a division of the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources.
A pumping unit is shown Dec. 14 in the New Town area in the oil patch. North Dakota has reached a new milestone of producing half a million barrels of oil a day.
The preliminary November data is an increase of about 22,000 barrels from October and an increase of more than 150,000 barrels a day from one year ago, according to the news release.
"Oil production in the state has increased anywhere from 8,000 to 40,000 barrels a day, every month since June," Helms said.
North Dakota continues to set oil production records and appears to be on the path to surpass both California and Alaska to become the No. 2 oil-producing state in the U.S.
Alison Ritter, public information specialist for the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources, told The Minot Daily News in December that surpassing California and Alaska will depend on how much those states decline in oil production.
Last month, N.D. regulators said North Dakota could surpass California as soon as early 2012 but it probably wouldn't surpass Alaska until 2013.
Recent data from California, the number three oil-producing state in the country, is producing about 570,000 barrels a day, state regulators said this week.
Total production numbers for November show North Dakota producing nearly 15.3 million barrels in that month, as well as having 6,300 producing wells, according to state officials.
Data for December will not be released until February, officials said.