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November oil and gas production down slightly; December numbers could be 'tough'

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Dave Thompson
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North Dakota mineral resources director Lynn Helms at his monthly 'Director's Cut' briefing Jan. 17th

North Dakota’s oil and gas production dropped a little bit in November.

In his Director’s Cut report for November, state mineral resources director Lynn Helms said oil production dropped to just under 1.1 million barrels a day, or about 2 percent – and natural gas production dropped about 4 percent.

The actual numbers:
Oct. oil -1,121,754 barrels per day
Nov, oil - 1,097,716 barrels per day

Oct. natural gas 3,146,193 MCF/day
Nov. natural gas 3,029,033 MCF/day

And Helms said when he presents his December figures, it will likely show the blizzards that month took their toll on oil and gas production.

"We saw the December blizzards reduce production down to what we think was almost half, in the 600,000 barrel per day range," Helms said.

Helms also said it has taken a while for production to recover.

"It really took until well into January, before we saw production really recover," Helms said. "And we're not yet back to 1.1 million barrels per day."

Helms said that's based on the volume of oil going through the pipelines.

"December's going to be a tough, tough month, in terms of production," Helms said.

Helms said the good news is that 95 percent of the natural gas is being captured. And he said the number of completed oil wells — 104 — is healthy, and there are 43 drilling rigs currently working in the Bakken.

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