Carpe Diem

Another energy milestone for ‘Saudi Dakota’: Daily oil production surpasses one million barrels for the first time ever


Oil drillers in North Dakota pumped out an average of over one million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in April, setting another new monthly all-time record high for the state’s crude oil production, according to oil production data released today by North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (see blue line in chart above). Reaching the one million barrels of oil per day level is another important energy milestone for North Dakota, which has seen its oil production increase twelve-fold over the last decade from only 83,233 bpd in April 2004 to 1,001,149 bpd in April this year.

Here are some other highlights of North Dakota’s record-setting oil and gas output in April:

1) In April, the state’s average daily oil production increased by 26.1% compared to a year earlier, which was the largest year-over-year gain in three months. Remarkably, in only the last 30 months, oil production in North Dakota has almost doubled from 510,534 bpd in November of 2011 to more than one million bpd in April.

2) For the fifth month since last summer North Dakota produced more than 12% of all US oil in April. In November 2009, North Dakota’s oil production represented only 4.5% of total US crude output. Due to the phenomenal growth of oil output in the shale-rich Bakken fields, North Dakota’s share of US crude production has gradually increased, and is now consistently above 12%.

3) In dollar terms, the oil produced in North Dakota in April had a daily market value of more than $102 million at the average oil price of $102.07 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil during the month. For the entire month of April, that would put the market value of North Dakota oil at more than $3 billion, setting a new all-time record for the dollar value of the state’s monthly oil output.

4) The Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota produced more than 937,000 bpd in April for the first time ever (see brown line in chart), and a new all-time monthly output record of 937,263 bpd was established, which also represented a new record-high 93.6% of the state’s monthly oil production. In contrast, the Bakken region produced less than 9% of the state’s oil output at the beginning of 2007, before breakthrough drilling techniques (hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) were able to tap into a bonanza of unconventional oil in the shale-rich areas of western North Dakota. At the current pace, production in the Bakken oil field is on track to surpass the million bpd milestone by July or August of this year and join an elite group of only ten super-giant oil fields worldwide that have ever produced at the million barrel level at their peak daily production.

Bottom Line: April was another banner month in “Saudi Dakota,” with average daily oil production surpassing one million bpd for the first time and setting a new all-time monthly record for the state’s average daily oil output. Within a few months, the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state will join an elite group of only ten oil fields in the world to ever surpass the million-barrel milestone for peak daily crude oil production.

The shale boom continues to make the Peace Garden State America’s most economically successful state – with growth in employment and personal income that lead the nation, the lowest state jobless rate in the country at 2.6% in April (and the lowest monthly jobless rate in North Dakota history), an enviable and whopping state budget surplus approaching $2 billion, the highest state GDP growth in 2013 of 9.7%, strong housing and construction markets (almost 9,000 permits were issued last year which is an all-time record and more than 3 times the permits issued four years ago in 2009), thousands of landowners who have become millionaires from oil and gas royalties (estimated oil royalty payments of more than $20 million every day in April, at 20% of the approximately $102 million in market value calculated above; and an estimated additional $700,000 in payments every day for natural gas royalties), and jobless rates in 17 of the state’s 53 counties at 2.5% or lower in April (with Williams County at only 0.90%, the lowest county jobless rate in America).

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 vast oceans of shale oil and shale gas in the state’s Bakken region. The Peace Garden State, along with Texas, are the shining stars of The Great American Energy Boom, which continues to be the strongest reason to be optimistic about the US economy.

Carpe oleum.

9 thoughts on “Another energy milestone for ‘Saudi Dakota’: Daily oil production surpasses one million barrels for the first time ever

  1. This is all great news, but it will not stop the Democrats and the environmental left in their efforts to undermine America’s economic future:

    TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s government on Tuesday approved a controversial pipeline proposal that would bring oil to the Pacific Coast for shipment to Asia, a major step in the country’s efforts to diversify its oil exports if it can overcome fierce opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups.

    Approval for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project was expected as Canada needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil sands production. The project’s importance has only grown since the U.S. delayed a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    The northern Alberta region has the world’s third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

    Enbridge’s pipeline would transport 525,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific to deliver oil to Asia, mainly energy-hungry China. — AP

      • Paul

        Wow. I know I’ve said it many times before, but just when I think I’ve seen everything, another truly bizarre government f**kup raises it’s ugly head.

        It’s not clear why dead veterens need sustainable energy, but it IS clear that we are now paying veteren benefits beyond the grave.

        • Ron,

          What depresses me the most is there appears to be no way to reform the system. Things like this used to be scandalous, now it’s just met with a shoulder shrug.

  2. I was out in the Bakken a couple of weeks ago. Coincidentally, I think Mark was there at the same time. I encourage everyone to see it, if possible. My favorite thing is to see all the oil service businesses.

    There is statistic after statistic and anecdote after anecdote about what is going on, but one thing struck me particularly.

    McKenzie County is a Rhode Island-sized chunk of land and had a 2000 (pre-boom) population of about 6,400. An individual involved in hospital fund-raising said they have counted over 3,000 oil related businesses (trucking, mechanics, well service etc)active in the county. They can’t know for sure how many, because it changes every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>