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ND sets record 16,374 producing wells

Eloise Ogden/MDN North Dakota has set a new all-time record of producing wells.

BISMARCK – North Dakota set an all-time high record of 16,374 producing wells in April, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported this week. The number is a preliminary number. In March, the state had 16,212 producing wells.

Next to Texas, North Dakota has been the second producer of crude oil in the nation for some time. Lynn Helms, director of the Mineral Resources Department, said the Energy Information Agency shows New Mexico is ahead of North Dakota in March, April and May but was not sure without more checking if that is for natural gas liquids and crude oil production or just for crude oil or natural gas. He said though North Dakota and New Mexico are “head to head.” At the rate New Mexico is going and unless North Dakota sees an acceleration in fracking crews, he said New Mexico will be ahead of North Dakota.

North Dakota produced 1.121 million barrels of oil a day in April, up 1.1%. In March, the state produced 1.108 million barrels of oil a day.

The numbers are normally about two months behind.

The price of crude oil as of Tuesday was $62.75 a barrel for North Dakota Light Sweet and $70.91 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate.

The state’s natural gas production in April was 88,898,778 MCF or 2,963,293 MCF a day, up 3.1%. The gas capture percentage was 93% in April.

On Tuesday, 20 rigs were actively working in the oil fields. The all-time high was 218 on May 29, 2012.

There were 731 wells waiting on completion in April and 628 wells waiting on completion in March.

Fort Berthold Reservation produced 275,279 barrels of oil in April. Four rigs were actively drilling on the reservation and 2,557 wells were active.

Helms said the drilling rig count fell 65% from January 2020 to April 2021.

He said the number of well completions has been low and volatile since April 2020 as the number of active completion crews dropped from 25 to one, then increased to six in April and to nine on Tuesday.

He said at the June meeting OPEC+ agreed to stick to the plan approved in April to raise output 350,000 barrels per day in June and then 440,000 barrels per day in July.

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