Record setting: ND achieves high numbers in gas production, producing wells

BISMARCK – North Dakota has reached a new all-time high of 18,854 producing wells and an all-time high in natural gas production of 3.38 billion cubic feet a day.

Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, released the new oil and natural gas production numbers on Friday. The numbers are for March, the most recent numbers available. The numbers are normally about two months behind.

The new all-time high of 18,854 producing wells includes 16,667 (88%) unconventional Bakken/Three Forks wells and 2,177 (12%) produced from legacy conventional pools. In February, the state had 18,749 producing wells.

North Dakota’s production of natural gas – 3.38 billion cubic feet a day – was higher than in February when the state produced 3.36 billion cubic feet a day.

In his monthly report, Helms said the state produced 1,229,156 barrels of oil a day in March. The state produced 1,252,102 barrels of oil a day in February.

On Friday, North Dakota light sweet crude was selling for $71.75 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate for $79.23.

On Friday, 36 rigs were actively working in North Dakota. None were working on federal surface.

In April, 79 wells were permitted and in March, 345 wells were waiting on completion.

Fifteen frac crews are currently active in the state.

Fort Berthold Reservation produced 206,995 barrels of oil a day in March. The reservation had 2,917 active wells, nine wells waiting on completion and 124 approved drilling permits. Five rigs were actively drilling on the reservation.

There’s the potential of 1,763 future wells on Fort Berthold, according to Helms.

Helms said the drilling rig count remains low due to load limits, mergers and acquisitions but is expected to return to the mid-40s with a gradual increase expected over the next two years.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia announced continued oil production cuts. Middle East conflict, Russia sanctions, China economic activity, potential recessions and shifting crude oil supply chains continue to create significant price volatility,” Helms said.


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