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July 'Director's Cut' -- mostly good news, not great news

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

Mostly good news…not great news.

That’s how North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms characterized the July oil production numbers.

"Oil production was up 15,000 barrels a day in July," Helms said at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "That's about 1.4 percent."

Helms said natural gas production was up at about the same pace.

"They're not huge jumps, but very positive," Helms said.

Helms says production is about 5 percent over forecast -- and that should offset some of the current prices, that are lagging behind forecast.

Helms said there had been a concern about having enough frack crews ready to complete wells – but that’s looking better, too.

"Based on the information I collect, we got to 24 or 25 frack crews in July and August," Helms said. "That should be enough personnel to keep up with the rig count."

Helms said that also means the non-completed well count -- of wells drilled but not fracked -- should begin to drop.

The current rig count is 56.

And Helms told reporters he thinks production will stay at or above a million barrels a day.

"We had talked there's a pretty good possibility of dropping below a million barrels a day," Helms said. "But it looks like the oil price, the rig count and the number of frack crews will keep up above the million-barrel-a-day number."

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