Texas, you're officially on notice.
North Dakota has passed Alaska in oil production, moving the state to No. 2 in the nation. North Dakota pumped 17.8 million barrels in March, with a daily average of 575,490 barrels. That's more than Alaska, where production has dipped recently to 17.5 million barrels in March.
The only state ahead of North Dakota is Texas, and catching the Lone Star State won't be easy, and might not even be realistic. Texas pumped 1.1 million barrels a day in?February, the latest production numbers available, and produced 32.9 million barrels for the month.
That's nearly twice what North Dakota is producing, and even North Dakota's production expected to continue to rise, Texas' production is also on the upswing. In all likelihood, we'll have to settle for being No. 2.
Yet, who would have thought that was even possible a decade ago? In 1999, there were no active rigs in the state, and six years ago North Dakota was No. 9 in oil production. But new technology and the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations changed all that. Now, North Dakota produces about 9 percent of the total U.S. oil production. Texas, North Dakota, Alaska and California, the top four oil-producing states, accounted for about 47.5 percent of the nation's production in February, not including offshore drilling.
The climb to No. 2 has been swift, and not without growing pains and concerns. But the oil industry continues to produce at a record pace in North Dakota, and there's seemingly no end in sight.