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May oil production rebounds

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After oil production in the Williston Basin was significantly reduced in April, due to blizzards, May showed a rebound.

April production fell to about 900,000 barrels a day. North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said that was due to blizzards that knocked out power to some oilfields. But Helms said production jumped to 1,058,721 barrels in May.

"They're still about 60,000 barrels a day short of full recovery from the blizzards," Helms said.

In his monthly “Director’s Cut” briefing, Helms said he anticipates the June numbers will show production back to pre-April levels, and July will show a significant increase from that.

"We are marching towards that two percent production increase for the year," Helms said. "That should put us in the neighborhood of 1.3 million per day by year end. I think that's what the target is for the industry."

Helms said a challenge to that is for the industry to find workforce.

"As of this week, it looks like we have 18 frack crews running," Helms said. "Prior to COVID, we had 25."

Helms said the optimal number of frack crews would be 25. He also said 42 drilling rigs are currently working in the Bakken, and the optimum number would be 50 to 55.

The latest report also shows 94 percent of natural gas is being captured.

The latest report also shows 94 percent of natural gas is being captured.

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