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Helms: Blizzard reduced oil and gas production; federal oil lease sale scheduled

Dave Thompson
Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms at his "Director's Cut" briefing

North Dakota's daily oil and gas production in February was virtually unchanged from January.

In his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing , state mineral resources director Lynn Helms said the state produced 1,089,193 barrels per day in February. In January, that number was 1,088,613 barrels per day.

But Hems said preliminary reports show the recent blizzard reduced that daily production number.

"It looks like about a 25 percent drop in production, due to the blizzard," Helms said. He won't have the4 actual numbers for April for a few months.

"At least during the blizzard, we would have dropped below a million barrels a day, with probably 25 percent of our production shut in because of an inability to transport oil, and to keep things operating if they went down," Helms said.

Helms said he thinks about half that reduced production has come back.

Lease Sale

The federal Bureau of Land Management has scheduled an oil and gas lease sale in June, involving tracts in North Dakota and Montana.

This comes after the Department canceled plans for a lease sale in the first quarter of 2022.

"The North Dakota parcels was a ditto of what was supposed to be auctioned off last month," Helms told reporters.

Helms said the number of leases in Montana were reduced.

BLM has also decided the royalty rate for those leases will be 18.75 percent, up from 12 percent. Helms said he doesn’t know what affect, if any, the increased royalty rate will have on that sale.

"I will say this, that the tracts ready for lease in North Dakota are prime acreage," Helms said. "Industry is still going to want them."

The sale is scheduled June 28th.

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