ND Directors Cut reveals decrease in oil production

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Oil production had risen every month since June of 2017 but that trend changed this month. The Department of Mineral Resources director addressed that and other issues Thursday.

Lynn Helms attributed the nearly 15,000 barrel a day decrease from November to December to harsh weather, but it's important to remember things we're even worse last year.

Lower oil prices and serious weather issues caused oil production in the state to drop by close to 100,000 barrels a day this time last year. Oil companies say it's too expensive to keep fracking fluids warm enough to use.

"In their opinion, it costs entirely too much money to heat the frack water and to operate safely in these kind of weather conditions," said North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

Flaring remains a big issue, and the department of Mineral Resources says it will attack that problem over the next year.

"The tribes process is really not what's inhibiting the right a way process that it's federal and it's BIA and so that's going to be our focus for the next few months," said Helms.

Even with the Dakota Access Pipeline coming online mid-year, pipeline capacity may run out soon.

"I would anticipate if the industry follows my case one scenario in the next 12 to 18 months production would exceed pipeline capacity again," said Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

The state pipeline authority says pipelines carry 77 percent of oil the states oil to buyers.

There are no plans for any new oil transportation pipelines at this time according to Kringstad.