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ND daily oil production declines slightly but above 1 million barrels

Eloise Ogden/MDN North Dakota oil production is at more than 1.224 million barrels of oil a day, according to a new report.

BISMARCK – North Dakota produced more than 1.224 million barrels of oil a day, according to new figures reported by the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources.

The production report was released on Friday. Report figures are for November, the most recent numbers available. Numbers normally are about two months behind.

The new production number remains above a million barrels of oil a day but is a decline compared to October when the state produced more than 1.231 million barrels of oil a day.

On Friday, the price of crude oil was $43.50 for N.D. light sweet and $52.69 for West Texas Intermediate. The all-time high was $136.29 a barrel for N.D. light sweet and $145.29 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate, both on July 3, 2008.

The state’s natural gas production in November was 86,622,059 MCF or 2,887,402 MCF a day in November. The gas capture percentage in November was 93%, the same as in October.

Eleven rigs were actively working in the oil field as of Friday. In October, November and December, 14 rigs were actively working.

The state’s producing wells numbered 15,601 (preliminary) and there were 710 wells waiting on completion in November, according to the report.

Fort Berthold Reservation produced in November 299,785 barrels of oil. Five rigs were drilling on the reservation and 2,515 wells were active.

Lynn Helms, director of the Mineral Resources Department, said the lower crude oil price has put extreme downward pressue on rig and completion crew counts. He said unemployment claims published weekly indicate about 12,900 unemployment claims as of Jan. 9, with more jobs at risk due to winter weather.

Helms said the OPEC+ agreement to cut 7.2 million barrels per day expires Jan. 31. He said OPEC+ has agreed to discuss increasing production at its January, February and March meetings with a general consensus to maintain $45-$55 West Texas Intermediate. He said the two biggest uncertainties are COVID-19 and Biden administration policies on Iran.

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