Production plummets in the Bakken

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Those waiting for a full-fledged recovery of the state's oil industry will have to remain patient.

The latest production numbers will provide more disappointing news for the state's budget.

The state's oil production is down 70,000 barrels a day, a level the Department of Mineral Resources hasn't seen since December of 2013.

Today's report also marks the largest drop in production in the history of North Dakota.

There are 1.04 million barrels of crude being produced in the Bakken a day, which is a 6 percent drop from March.

"This was an abnormally high production drop, I would not expect another 70, 000 barrel a day drop," said Lynn Helms, Department of Mineral Resources.

Helms says the lack of activity, early road restrictions and windy weather are factors that played a part in the historic decrease.

"It's going to be very, very hard for industry at these kind of drilling levels and at prices below the$50-mark. It looks almost impossible to stay above a million barrels a day until the end of the year," said Helms.

Currently oil prices have increased to $38.25 for a barrel of Bakken crude, but those numbers aren't strong enough to complete wells.

The rig count is up one to 28, but Williams County, one of the four top oil-producing counties in the state, now has no operating rigs for the first time since October of 2008.

"It looks like it's a 30 rig count plus or minus for a year," said Helms.

Oil companies are focusing on drilling in the core of the Bakken in Mckenzie and Dunn County's until oil prices rebound to $60 for 90 days in a row.

Helms says the Bakken hasn't hit the bottom of the barrel, May oil production will probably another decline.