Helms: Oct. oil production numbers jumped to nearly 1.2 million barrels a day

Dec 17, 2017

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" media briefing 12/15/17.
Credit Dave Thompson

October was a good month for oil production in North Dakota.

"I think the numbers are going to speak louder than anything I could," said state mineral resources director Lynn Helms. "It's really pretty remarkable."

What's remarkable is production jumped to nearly 1.2 million barrels a day -- a 78,000 barrel a day increase from September.

"That is the largest month-over-month increase we've ever had in North Dakota," Helms said in his monthly "Director's Cut" media briefing.

Helms said it shows the strength of the oil and gas industry. He also said preliminary numbers for November and December are looking very strong.

"It's always a risk in the winter-time in North Dakota," Helms said. "But weather permitting, we may be starting to look at record numbers again, before too long."

North Dakota's record oil production came in Dec. 2014, when the state produced 1,227,483 barrels a day.

It's not only oil. Helms said in October, natural gas production climbed over the 2 billion cubic foot per day level for the first time ever. But he said that can be a challenge going forward.

'We've talked some about the stress this is placing on existing infrastructure, and the stress that could come about in the next year," Helms said. He said the state barely met its goal to capture 85 percent of the gas, meaning 15 percent of the gas was flared.