In August two milestones in North Dakota energy production were passed; 900,000 barrels of oil per day and 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Preliminary state numbers put North Dakota oil production for August at more than 911,242 barrels per day. This is an increase of more than 35,500 barrels of daily production from July. Natural gas production surpassed the 1 billion cubic feet per day for the first time in August. Natural gas production had been at just more than 972 million cubic feet per day in July.
North Dakota oil production had hit the 800,000 barrels of oil per day in May of 2013. There are predictions that North Dakota will reach the 1 million barrels of oil per day by the end of this year or very early in 2014.
Preliminary numbers for oil production in North Dakota during August was more than 28.2 million barrels up from 27.1 million in July. Total producing wells in the state were up to 9,452 in August (2013), according to the preliminary numbers. Total producing wells in the state in July (2013) were 9,334.
The total number of drilling permits for September (2013) was 287 this was a slight increase from 276 in August (2013). Permits are typically increased from August through October to allow companies to plan for winter drilling operations.
The percentage of natural gas being flared in North Dakota dropped from 30 percent in July (2013) to 29 percent in August. However, the volume of flared gas increased from 9.3 billion cubic feet in July (2013) to 9.4 billion cubic feet in August due to increased oil drilling.
There is an oil and gas industry task force looking at ways to reduce flaring. This group has approximately 90 days to develop a plan that the North Dakota Industrial Commission will use to craft policy changes to rein in flaring. According to the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration, approximately 1 percent of all natural gas in the country is flared.
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