About two and a half years ago, North Dakota oil production surpassed the 1 million barrel per day mark.
It was a symbolic moment marking the states rise to the second highest producer in the country after Texas.
As Ben Smith reports, North Dakota will soon pass that mark again, this time, it will be on the way down.
The most recent numbers show North Dakota production holding steady at just about one million, thirty thousand barrels of oil a day for the month of July.
“There were enough completions of enough good wells, roughly 41 completions of some extremely good wells that allowed industry to maintain production above a million barrels a day,” says Lynn Helms, North Dakota Dept. of Mineral Resources
It used to take 80-90 well completions a day to keep production above 1 million barrel a day mark.
After months of low oil prices producers are spending as little as possible, and only the most productive wells are still going.
“There’s not enough value to mobilize frack crews and certainly not enough value to mobilize drilling rigs,”
Active drilling rigs are expected to stay around 30 for the winter.
And well completions will also remain low.
“We’ll stay at this low completion number or actually maybe drop off some as we go through the winter so I still think that the revenue projection that was put together based on 900 thousand barrels per day is pretty realistic, I think we’re headed that direction,” says Helms
Helms says production will pick up once prices reach about 50 dollars per barrel.
He expects that won’t happen until the beginning of next year.
Even so, North Dakota’s cold winters can hinder production, he says to not expect production to grow until the second quarter of 2016.