ND drops in oil production and national rank

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota is no longer in the top two oil-producing states in the country.

According to the latest numbers, New Mexico has taken over the second spot by producing 46,000 more barrels per day than North Dakota.

It’s not just New Mexico making more, but North Dakota slowing down.

North Dakota’s oil leaders anticipated a strong summer in the oil patches. Instead, they saw a decline in production.

Over the month of July, the state dropped crude oil production by 5%. And natural gas is down 4%, but they don’t see that as a long-term trend.

“We are headed for an era of a lot more natural gas production and trying to sort out what we’re going to do with that. So even though we had a 4% decline in production, that’s a temporary thing,” said Director of Mineral Resources Department Lynn Helms.

What caused the downturn was a series of plant outages for summer maintenance events.

Five plants in the state had outages for a few months for work on the infrastructure.

Industry leaders say these events are standard.

“In North Dakota, summer time is the time for a turnaround. You don’t want to shut down facilities and units, if possible, outside. Certainly not during the freezing time periods,” said North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad.

These shutdowns also led to an increase in the state’s flaring.

The industry burned off 10% of gases from production over July, but it was 8% in June.

Third parties were brought in to capture as much of that gas as they could.

While production is down, pricing is not.

The price on natural gas was 34% higher than expected, which kept the revenue forecasts just 2% below expectations.

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