oil production

Amy Sisk / Prairie Public

The number of wells producing oil is at an all-time high in North Dakota at 13,876, but this isn’t translating into higher oil output.

The latest numbers released by the state show that oil production in May was above 1 million barrels of oil per day. But it was down just slightly from the month before despite more wells operating.

At his monthly press briefing Friday, mineral resources director Lynn Helms said the reason is two-fold.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s April oil production remained above a million barrels a day.

It was up nearly 25,000 barrels a day from the March number -- about a 2.4% increase.

"Happy, happy, happy," said state mineral resources director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "I think that was more than many of us expected."

There are 55 drilling rigs operating in the Bakken. But Helms said one potential drawback to getting new wells completed is – there aren’t enough frack crews right now.

Amy Sisk / Prairie Public

Oil production is bouncing back, but North Dakota is having trouble finding workers to fill new energy jobs.

North Dakota is once again producing over 1 million barrels of oil per day, after the number dropped below a million this winter. It rebounded in February, according to figures released Thursday from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Slight drop in oil production reported in November

Jan 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

"Slips, Trips and Falls." 

That's State mineral resources director Lynn Helms' theme for the January director’s cut briefing – where he presented November’s oil and gas production.

"Production did slide -- or slip -- from October to November," Helms said. "About 10,000 barrels a day."

It dropped from 1,043,693 barrels a day in October, to 1,033,693 barrels a day in November. And Helms said about 80 percent of that slip happened on the Ft. Berthold reservation.

ND oil production again over one million barrels a day

Dec 14, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A big surprise in the October oil production numbers -- North Dakota's oil production is back over one million barrels a day.

The count was 1,043,207 barrels per day -- up from 971,760 in Sepetember.

"That's a 7 1/2 increase," said state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. Helms attributed the increase to better oil prices.

"The oil price in October went above $40 a barrel for the first time since june, 2015," Helms said. "For the first time in 18 months, we saw sustained plus-$40 prices for North Dakota sweet crude."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s oil production dropped below one million barrels a day in August.

In his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing, state mineral resources director Lynn Helms says production dropped about 5 percent from July. The August average was 981,000 barrels a day.

"This is the month that we've all been anticipating, but were definitely not looking forward to," Helms told reporters. "It's not great news. But we've all been anticipating it."

Helms said he thinks he knows why the drop in the August report.

Dave Thompson

North Dakota’s oil production continues to drop.

It took a relatively big hit from March to April.

But the news isn’t all bad.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms holds a monthly “Director’s Cut” briefing. The one today was for the month of April. He likes to have a theme for those briefings – and this month’s theme was…

“The good, the bad and the ugly.”

March oil production dropped in North Dakota.

But the state’s director of mineral resources says it wasn’t as bad as he first thought.

In March, the state produced just over 1.1 million barrels a day. That’s down about 10,000 barrels from February. But mineral resources director Lynn Helms thought it would be worse.

Helms: February oil production drops slightly

Apr 15, 2016

The director of North Dakota’s Mineral Resources Department calls it a “pleasant surprise.”

Lynn Helms is talking about the February oil production numbers.

"Oil production was anticipated to drop again significantly," said Helms. "Yet in oly dropped about one-half of one percent, just slightly over 4000 barrels a day."

Helms says in February, the state produced just over 1.1 billion barrels of oil a day. He also says natural gas production also went up by about three percent – to nearly 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.

Oct. oil production numbers show some ups, some downs

Dec 10, 2015
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

When North Dakota Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms gives his monthly "Director's Cut" report on activity in the Williston Basin, he likes to have a theme.

For the October report...

"I'm calling this month 'Where's Waldo?'" said Helms. "