The “Economic Miracle State” of North Dakota pumped another record amount of crude oil during the month of July at a rate of more than 674,000 barrels per day, according to data released today by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. Oil production during the month of July exceeded 20 million barrels for the first time in state history, establishing a new record for monthly oil output. Here are some other highlights of North Dakota’s record-setting oil output in July:
1) The state’s oil production in July was 59% above a year ago, and followed annual increases of 71.1% in June and 75.5% in May.
2) North Dakota produced 62% more oil than Alaska in July, marking the fifth consecutive month that North Dakota has out-produced Alaska. The Peace Garden State surpassed Alaska’s oil production for the first time in March to become the country’s new No. 2 oil state, behind only Texas now.
3) The number of oil wells in North Dakota increased to 7,303 in July establishing a new state record for active wells. Over the last year through July, an average of almost seven new oil wells were put into production every business day, and each of those new wells is the equivalent of adding a new $8-10 million business to the state’s economy, see recent CD post for more details.
4) The amount of oil produced per active well in North Dakota increased in the month of July to 2,861 barrels during the month of July, which was almost 20% above the oil output per well during July a year ago, and likely reflects the increased efficiency gains from advanced drilling technologies like “pad drilling” that are gaining popularity.
As a result of the state’s oil boom, North Dakota continues to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate at 3% in July, and more than five percentage points below the national average of 8.1%. There were ten North Dakota counties with jobless rates below 2.0% in July, and Williams County, which is at the center of the Bakken oil boom, continues to boast the lowest county jobless rate in the country at just 0.7%. The exponential growth in North Dakota oil production has fueled exponential growth in the state’s oil and gas jobs, which have tripled in less than three years. Overall employment throughout the entire state has increased 6.8% over the last twelve months, almost five times the tepid 1.4% pace of job growth nationally during that period.
Bottom Line: July’s record-setting oil production in North Dakota continues to make it the most economically successful state in America, with record levels of employment and income growth, the lowest state jobless rate in the country, a state budget surplus of $1 billion, the lowest home foreclosure rate in the country, strong housing and construction markets, and jobless rates in ten of the state’s counties below 2.0%. 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 ocean of shale oil in the state’s Bakken region. It’s is an economic model that could easily spread energy prosperity elsewhere if more domestic energy resources were opened up to greater exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas.