North Dakota’s summer oil production collapses

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North Dakota saw a 5% drop in its oil and gas production last July, the result of a series of outages at five natural gas plants in the state.

Bear Creek, Lonesome Creek, Robinson Lake, Tioga and Watford City natural gas processing plants were repeatedly out of service in July due to scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

North Dakota Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said the outages resulted in a 5% drop in state oil production and a 4% drop in natural gas production from June to July.

The drop in production surprised state officials, who expected oil production to rebound after what, so far, has been a gloomy 2021.

Helms said the crisis occurred despite healthy oil prices and an improving employment situation in the Bakken.

In July, North Dakota produced 1,077,789 barrels per day, up from 1,133,498 barrels per day in June. The state’s record production took place in November 2019 at 1,519,037 barrels per day.

On the positive side, Helms said the oilfield employment scene was on the rise.

At the height of the pandemic, unemployment in the Williston Basin was 12-15%. Last June, Helms said unemployment in the oil industry has improved to 7 percent, and today it has improved further to just 5 percent.

Crude oil prices on Friday ranged from $ 72.61 / bbl from West Texas Intermediate (WTI), while the North Dakota market estimate was $ 69.06 / bbl.

The record price for North Dakota oil was set in June 2008, when North Dakota sweet crude was selling for $ 125.62 per barrel.

North Dakota 2021 Oil Production

June 2021: 1,133,498 barrels / day

July 2021: 1,077,789 barrels / day – 55,709 barrels / day

Unemployment in the oil and gas sector / Williston Basin

May – August 2020 12 – 15 percent unemployment

June 2021 7% unemployment

September 2021 5% unemployment

Source: North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources


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