State nears 1 million barrels of oil a day

BISMARCK North Dakota has gone over the 10,000 mark for producing wells in the oil patch.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources in Bismarck, reported Tuesday that the state had a preliminary new all-time high of 10,023 producing wells in November 2013.

Of the 10,023 producing wells, 6,598, or 66 percent, are unconventional Bakken-Three Forks wells and 3,425 wells, or 34 percent, produce from legacy conventional pools.

The state also is 26,955 barrels a day away from reaching the 1 million mark in oil production. The most recent figures, the November 2013 figures, released by the Department of Mineral Resources Tuesday, show a preliminary new all-time high of producing 973,045 barrels of oil a day.

Of the 973,045 barrels of oil a day produced in November 2013, the majority of it was from the Bakken and Three Forks Formations.The specific figures were 908,384 barrels per day, or 93 percent, from the Bakken and Three Forks, and 64,661 barrels per day, or 7 percent, from legacy conventional pools.

Gas production in November also set a preliminary new all-time high of 1,086,571 MCF a day, according to Helms’ report. One MCF equals 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

The November 2013 figures are the most recent ones for oil and gas production.

As of Tuesday, the N.D. Oil and Gas Division, a division of the Department of Mineral Resources, reported 188 rigs were actively drilling in the oil patch.

The five most active counties for drilling are McKenzie, Williams, Mountrail, Dunn and Divide.

Helms said the number of rigs actively drilling on federal land in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands has increased from none to two.

He said there are 22 drilling rigs on the Fort Berthold Reservation. On the reservation, 295,587 barrels of oil is being produced each day from 1,099 active wells. Most of the active wells, 728 of them, are on trust lands and 371 are on fee lands, or lands not held in trust by the federal government.

In his monthly report of oil and gas production, Helms said the number of well completions has dropped from 166 to 138. He said the days from spud start of a new well to initial production remained steady at 114. He said investors remain concerned abut the uncertainty surrounding federal policies on taxation and hydraulic fracturing regulation.