Oil production by state (and by country) is typically reported by the number of barrels produced per day (or per month or year), like the report today for North Dakota oil in February. I started wondering today why oil output is always reported in physical units (barrels) but never seems to get reported by dollar value? So to supplement today’s report on monthly North Dakota oil output through February, I present data in the chart above on the annual dollar value of the oil produced in the Peace Garden State back to 2000. To calculate annual dollar values, I first calculated monthly oil revenues using monthly output figures and the average monthly price for West Texas oil, and then summed the monthly totals to get the annual amounts in the chart above.
In 2012, the estimated dollar value of North Dakota’s annual oil output was $22.745 billion, which was an increase of 57% from the $14.47 billion of oil produced in 2011 and about two and-a-half times more than the $8.99 billion in 2010. The dollar value of oil produced in North Dakota during the first two months of this year, at $4.24 billion, is greater than the annual value of the state’s oil in 2007 ($3.29 billion) and all of the previous years. On a monthly basis, the $23.6 billion of oil produced in February was the highest dollar amount of oil ever produced in the state in a single month.
And to put North Dakota’s oil output last year of $22.745 billion into perspective, that’s greater than the annual GDP in 2012 of many countries like Cyprus ($22.4 billion), and just slightly less than El Salvador ($23.9 billion) and Cameroon ($24.5 billion). It’s also just slightly less than the Gross State Product of Vermont in 2011 (most recent year available) at $25.9 billion.
We’ve known that North Dakota oil production has been growing exponentially when measured by physical output, and this helps put a dollar value on the oil prosperity being generated in America’s “economic miracle state.”