Record setting: ND achieves record gas capture numbers
BISMARCK – North Dakota’s oil and gas producers set a record in September in achieving 93% gas capture.
The North Dakota Department announced the gas capture numbers on Tuesday when the monthly update of oil and gas numbers also was announced.
“Reaching this record gas capture rate of 93% is a significant milestone for our industry and it’s important to acknowledge the hard work and investments that have been made to achieve this goal,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, Bismarck, in a prepared statement. “We have invested almost $20 billion to build more gas gathering and processing infrastructure to achieve our gas capture goals. A great deal of planning and effort has gone into this achievement and I want to commend the state for being a strong partner with industry, especially given the difficulties we have faced this year with the collapse in prices and demand. We look forward to continuing this important work to ensure responsible development of our state’s valuable resources.”
North Dakota’s oil production reached 1.221 million barrels a day in September, an increase from 1.165 million barrels a day in August, according to numbers issued on Tuesday by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. The figures are normally about two months behind.
Crude oil prices on Tuesday were $33.25 a barrel for North Dakota Light Sweet and $41.34 for West Texas Intermediate.
On Tuesday, 15,377 (preliminary number) wells were producing in the N.D. oil field, an increase from August when 15,149 wells were producing. Another 793 wells were waiting on completion.
On the Fort Berthold Reservation there are 2,483 active wells, with 148 wells waiting on completion.
Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, said the drilling count is down 80% January to September of this year.
He said the number of well completions has been very volatile since March as the number of active completion crews decreased from 25 to one and now six with the CARES Act incentive.
“Lower crude oil price has put extreme downward pressure on rig and completion crew counts,” Helms said. He said weekly unemployment claims indicate about 11,700 layoffs as of Nov. 7, with more jobs at risk due to oil price volatility.