Impact of April blizzards still felt in North Dakota



While the Williston Herald was taking note of Harold Hamm’s bid to return Continental Resources to being a private-company rather than being traded publicly, the paper also had an update on North Dakota’s monthly oil production report.

First, it should be pointed out that Harold Hamm’s oil and gas operations are quite publicly known throughout North Dakota, which until recent months was the nation’s second largest oil producing state. A surge in oil and gas drilling in the Permian Basin region of southeast New Mexico resulted in New Mexico taking over second place behind Texas.

It was in North Dakota’s Bakken play where Hamm rolled the dice years ago and eventually became one of the strongest players in the state’s oil and gas exploration.

Back to North Dakota’s oil production report, again courtesy of the Williston Herald, back-to-back blizzards in April sent the state’s production reeling due to extended power outages. Lynn Helms, North Dakota Director of Mineral Resources reported production losses ranged from 45% to 100% for some firms.

As a result, oil production dropped 20% for April to 900,597 barrels a day while the state’s natural gas production fell 19% to 2.445 billion cubic feet a day.

The Herald reported McKenzie County lost the most at 67,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Dunn County lost 57,000 a day.

For those who think hiring isn’t a problem, the paper indicated the Bakken’s two largest rig suppliers spent two months just training crews to put into the oil patch. It could be a reason why North Dakota’s rig numbers dropped from 44 a week ago to 39 this week.