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North Dakota pumping a million barrels per day

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North Dakota has joined the ranks of the few places in the world that produce more than a million barrels of oil per day, largely due to the rich Bakken shale formation in the western part of the state.

The April figures released last week by the state showed the record tally. North Dakota had flirted with the million-barrel mark for months, but the harsh winter slowed the pace. In March, production hit 977,000 barrels a day.

North Dakota’s oil fields now represent more than 12 percent of all U.S. oil production, and more than 1 percent of global production – a situation unfathomable a decade ago, when technology hadn’t yet met the challenge of extracting oil from the shale. Since then, the oil boom and the jobs it brings have transformed North Dakota, now home to the nation’s fastest-growing cities and its lowest unemployment rate.

North Dakota joins Texas, Alaska, California and Louisiana as the only states ever to produce more than a million barrels a day. Of those, Texas is the only state still producing above that level.

“Until April, only Texas, one Canadian province and 19 countries were producing 1 million barrels per day, putting North Dakota among the top oil producers in the entire world,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, an oil lobbying group.

Saudi Arabia leads the world’s oil production at nearly 10 million barrels of oil per day.

But North Dakota’s ascent has been rapid. Whereas eastern Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field, the top-producing oil field in the world with 5 million barrels a day, has been operational since 1951, North Dakota’s oil fields have surged from producing 80,000 to 90,000 barrels per day a decade ago.


7 Comments on "North Dakota pumping a million barrels per day"

  1. Westexasfanclub on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 5:50 am 

    Kind of hyperbole to compare North Dakota’s small, fast depleting oil fields with the world’s biggest one.

  2. Nony on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 9:37 am 

    Maybe Red Queen Rune can revisit his 650+/-50 peak call? Can explain why he was off. Can face the music, staunchly?

  3. Harquebus on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 4:59 pm 

    “North Dakota’s ascent has been rapid” and its descent will be just as rapid.

  4. Makati1 on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 9:03 pm 

    More propaganda from the Big Energy sector for the stupid masses.

  5. rockman on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 9:55 pm 

    “…a situation unfathomable a decade ago, when technology hadn’t yet met the challenge of extracting oil from the shale.” Again more ignorance or willful lying. Not only was it “fathomable” from a technical standpoint it was being done big time TWO DECADES AGO. The Austin Chalk formation (which is separated vertically from the Eagle Ford Shale by just several hundred feet)was THE hottest oil play on the entire when it was HORIZONTALLY drilled in the 90’s. It was another fine grained fractured reservoir filled with oil just like the EFS except composed of carbonate minerals instead of silicate minerals. Hence the term chalk instead of shale. And for carbonate geologists more properly called micrite.

    The production dynamics of the AC were exactly as that found in the EFS: the necessity of cutting as many fractures as possible, high initial production rates followed by a high decline rates and very low recovery of the in place reserves. Many of the EFS drill pads are actually abandoned AC production sites.

    There is still a bit of AC drilling happening but it has long passed its prime. Just like every other oil play on the planet it continued to expand as long a prices justify development. But just like ever oil play on the planet the AC had a geographic limit. Once most of the potential drill sites were developed the play died off. The same will be true for the EFS and Bakken.

    BTW the AC trend covered an area about 4X as large as the current EFS trend.

  6. Westexasfanclub on Mon, 23rd Jun 2014 5:05 am 

    Rockman, what was the production peak in the AC formation and at what price the production was economically viable then?

  7. rockman on Mon, 23rd Jun 2014 12:39 pm 

    I can find 100 details on the AC but detailed trend production still eludes. LOL. But looking at the production curve for all Texas oil production you can see the impact of the AC production. Looks to be about 300,000 bopd at best. Not as impressive as 1 million bopd but it hung in there for almost 10 years. Given the typical high decline rate of fracture production it shows how they kept poking holes relentlessly. While oil prices were a third of what they are today drilling costs were also considerably less. And in addition to oil production the deep end (12,O00’+) of the AC trend was a very prolific NG play. Horizontal wells producing 50,000 to 100,000 mcf per day were drilled. Even at today’s low prices that would be a gross value of $6 million to $12 million per month. Even with steep decline rates some wells recovered 100% of their total cost in a month or two. So far I haven’t noticed much effort to chase the deep gas window in the EFS.

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