The “Economic Miracle State” of North Dakota pumped another record amount of crude oil during the month of August, surpassing 700,000 barrels per day for the first time ever, according to data released today by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. Total oil production in August exceeded 21 million barrels for the first time in state history, establishing another new record for monthly oil output. Here are some other highlights of North Dakota’s record-setting oil output in August:
1) The state’s oil production in August was 57% above a year ago, and followed annual increases of 59% in July and 72% in June.
2) North Dakota produced 73% more oil than Alaska in August, marking the sixth 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, second now only to first-ranked Texas.
3) The number of active oil wells in North Dakota increased to 7,408 in August establishing a new state record. Over the last year through August, 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 August to a new record-high of 2,906 barrels during the month of August, which was 20% above the oil output per well 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 August, and almost five percentage points below the national average of 7.8%. There were nine 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 0.8%. 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 6.4% over the last twelve months, more than six times the tepid 1.0% pace of job growth nationally during that period.
Bottom Line: August was another record-setting month for oil production in North Dakota and the energy-related boom there 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 $1.6 billion, the lowest home foreclosure rate in the country, strong housing and construction markets, thousands of landowners who have become millionaires from oil royalties, and jobless rates in nine 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, which supplied 91% of the state’s oil in August. It’s 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.
Suggested state motto for North Dakota: “Carpe Oleum” (“seize the oil”).
Update: At more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), North Dakota is now producing almost as much oil as the countries of Egypt (719,000 bpd) and Argentina (723,000 bpd). At the current rate of production increases, it’s possible that North Dakota will be producing more than one million bpd of oil by the middle of next year and the state will then surpass oil output in the following countries: Indonesia (923,000 bpd), Oman (927,000 bpd), India (945,000 bpd), Colombia (960,000 bpd), and the U.K. (982,000 bpd).