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June oil and gas numbers up

North Dakota’s Mineral Resources Division has released its oil and gas production figures for June.

"All of the numbers are really good news," said Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms, in his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "In North Dakota, we saw a significant increase — 3 percent in oil and 3 percent in natural gas."

Helms saids there was a little bit of a drop in natural gas capture. It went from 95 percent to 94 percent. He attributed that to more drilling outside the core area of the Bakken – into what is known as “tier two” and “tier three” fields. Helms said this will mean a bit of a struggle to keep gas capture rates high – and more infrastructure will be needed.

"We're out further from the gas processing facilities," Helms said. "So more infrastructure is going to have to be built."

Helms said oil prices remain above $80 per barrel, with demand for oil exceeding supply. He called that a “sweet spot” for oil production.

"Oil and gas operators said if oil was to drop below $63 a barrel, they would reduce drilling and completions," Helms said. "If it went over $86, they would significantly increase. We're in the $80s, which means slow growth."

Helms said that's been the story in North Dakota for some time.

"Now you're seeing it in all the basins," Helms said.

Helms said New Mexico saw its oil and gas production drop by about three percent in June.

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