Record oil and gas production in North Dakota

Flaring in North Dakota continues to exceed the state’s goals, but was still less than posted in last month’s oil and gas production report — despite the fact crude oil and natural gas production reached new heights.

The monthly oil production report released Monday, Sept. 16, shows a 1.2 percent increase in crude oil production to 1.442 million barrels per day in July from 1.425 million barrels per day in June, according to the Williston Herald.

North Dakota is a state where Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm continues to make a fortune with his Continental Resources company in Oklahoma City. He was one of the early drillers who thought it was worth the risk to explore the Bakken.

Natural gas, meanwhile, increased 2.2 percent, from 2.885 million cubic feet per day in June to 2.948 million cubic feet per day in July. Both are new records.

The number of producing wells also hit a new high, from 15,752 in June to 15,943 in July.

Permits for future wells were 127 in June, spiked to 141 in July, and dropped back to 127 in August.

Crude prices, meanwhile, showed a similar pattern. North Dakota light sweet was $43.10 per barrel in June, spiked to $46.72 per barrel in July, and dropped to 44.58 per barrel in August.

Rigs showed the reverse trend. They were 63 in June, 57 in July and 62 in August. Monday, the state was showing 62 rigs in play.

Flaring from June to July dropped to 671,036 million cubic feet per day. That’s 22.7 percent of gas flared, or 77.3 percent captured. The state’s goal is to capture 88 percent.

Not including Fort Berthold — an area with particularly constrained capacity for gathering and processing natural gas — the capture rate was 81 percent.

Fort Berthold is running 14 rigs and has 2,212 active wells, with another 153 waiting on completion. There are 424 approved drilling permits.