North Dakota Oil Production Doubles In 2012

May 2013, Vol. 240, No. 5

North Dakota crude oil production (including lease condensate) averaged an all-time high of 770,000 bpd in December. Total annual production more than doubled between 2010-12 in the Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin. North Dakota production in 2012 trailed only Texas and the U.S. Federal Offshore region, and the state accounted for 10% of total U.S. crude oil production.

In November crude production fell slightly from October to 735,000 bpd because of weather-induced transportation problems. Pipeline networks are being expanded. Because over 80% of North Dakota’s wells are located in only four counties—Dunn, McKenzie, Montrail, and William—in the northwest area of the state (see map), harsh weather in these areas can reduce the state’s total crude oil production, as happened in November 2012 and again in January 2013.

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