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October oil production numbers flat

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"As flat as you can ever see."

That's how North Dakota Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms described October oil production numbers, compared with September.

In October production was at 1,222,871 barrels per day. The September number was 1,223,107 barrels per day. That's a difference of 236 barrels.

Helms said there are 15 drilling rigs working in the Williston Basin. He said permitting numbers have been up and down, depending on the price.

"We really need to see $55 West Texas oil, to see a significant increase in permitting and rig counts," Helms  told reporters at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "We're well short of that."

Helms said natural gas production actually went up about two percent in October, and the state is still holding to 93 percent gas capture.

Helms said 2020 was a bad year for the industry. He’s not very confident about next year.

"I think we have to get out more than a year, maybe a year-and-a-half,  before we have the prospect of seing oil and gas prices that will result in sustained growth."

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