North Dakota Set New Records in June for Oil and Gas Output

Mark J. Perry | AEI

North Dakota’s oil drillers pumped out more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day in June for the second straight month, and set a new record for crude oil production at an average of 821,531 barrels per day (bpd), according to oil production data released today by North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (see top chart above). The Peace Garden state also set a new record in June for monthly natural gas production at 27.9 million cubic feet (see bottom chart). Here are some other highlights of North Dakota’s record-setting oil and gas output in June:

1) The state’s average daily oil production increased almost 24% in June compared to a year ago, and followed annual increases of 25.7% in May and 29.8% in April. Remarkably, in only the last two years, oil production in North Dakota has more than doubled from 385,843 bpd in June of 2011 to more than 821,000 bpd in June this year (that’s a 113% increase).

2) The Bakken region in western North Dakota produced more than 700,000 bpd in June for the sixth straight month starting in Februrary, and established a new all-time monthly output record of 756,985 bpd, which represented more than 92% of the state’s monthly oil production in June. In contrast, the Bakken region produced less than 9% of the state’s oil output at the beginning of 2007, before hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling revolutionized domestic oil production in the shale-rich states of North Dakota and Texas.

3) North Dakota’s natural gas production in June increased by 32.9% from a year earlier to 27.9 million cubic feet and established a new monthly record.  Like the remarkable doubling of crude oil production in only 24 months, natural gas output in the state has more than doubled in only two years, from 11.8 million cubic feet in June of 2011 to almost 28 million cubic feet in June this year, which represents a two-year increase of 136%.

Bottom Line: June was another record-setting month for both oil and natural gas output in North Dakota, and the shale boom there continues to make it one of America’s most economically successful states – with growth in employment and income that leads the nation, the lowest state jobless rate in the country at 3.1% in June, a state budget surplus of $1.6 billion, the highest state GDP growth last year of 13.4%, one of the lowest home foreclosure rates, strong housing and construction markets, thousands of landowners who have become millionaires from oil royalties, and jobless rates in eight of the state’s counties below 2.0% in June. North Dakota’s economic success, job creation, and energy-based prosperity is being driven by the development of the state’s vast energy resources, especially the oceans of shale oil and shale gas in the state’s Bakken region. It’s an economic model that could easily spread energy-related prosperity and job growth elsewhere if more domestic and offshore energy resources, especially on federal lands, were opened up to greater exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas.

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Jack Mills
8 years ago

I was a Texaco geologist working in North Dakota on the Amerada Charleston No. 1 (Charleston Field discovery), in 1952.
My family and I lived in Bismarck from then until 1959; I was with Texaco durning that period, and I don’t remember drilling a dry hole on the Nesson Anticline. In 1959 the North Dakota Geological Society published a report (I was on the Committee that compiled it) and map of the status of Nesson Anticline oil fields at that time. Conrad Publishing Company published the report, and Curry Conrad helped our committee compile the map and text.

My regret is that we weren’t able to produce oil from the Bakken at that time, but am pleased that recent developments since I retired in 1985 have made this formation a major producer with many economic benefits for North Dakota. We knew that it was a highly petroliferous shale formation from our logs, but it took some very intelligent research to develope the techniques to recover its riches that were not available to us in the 50’s. (We helped put ND on the world oil map, and I’ve always been proud of that! )

We moved many times during my domestic and foreign career; my late wife, Helen, and I looked back at Bismarck as one of the best places in which we made our family home. Our friends and neighbors made it so!


8 years ago

Glad to be from one of those well-run states!! North Dakota. Seems like every business in the state has got a “Hiring Now” sign in front of it. No excuse for freeloaders!!!

8 years ago

There are states that act intelligently and adopt policies that better the state’s economy and the lives of those living there and then there are states that have the same opportunities, but chose to do the exact opposite. North Dakota and Texas are examples of generally well run states. California and New York also are sitting on top of significant oil and shale gas formations, but chose, for purely political reasons, to do the exact opposite. As long as the people in the poorly run states choose to accept the poor policy decisions of their elected officials, they’ll have to live with the negative consequences of those actions.

Larry Peoples Sr
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

……and we taxpayers in other states will eventually be forced to bail them out because of these bad decisions.

8 years ago

And that is the sad truth of it.

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