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Energy & Environment

Oil patch activity in 'efficiency mode'

North Dakota's mineral resources director says activity in the oil patch has reached what he’s calling an “efficiency mode.”

“We have really settled in to a high rate of drilling in the basin," Lynn Helms told the Legislature's interim Government Finance Committee. "But it's no longer escalating at the straight upward trend. I think that's good news for the infrastructure of western North Dakota. It gives us an opportunity to catch up. It's good news for the department. It's good news for the industry.”

Helms says the number of drilling rigs in North Dakota should remain between 185 and 190.

“It is possible for industry, with 185 drilling rigs, to drill over 200 wells a month," said Helms. "There just isn't that demand for 200 drilling rigs out there.”

Helms says right now, frack crews are busy – and there are a number of wells waiting to be fracked.

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