Photo courtesy of Hess Corporation

North Dakota’s July oil production was 874,460  barrels per day, the highest-ever monthly production.

A record was also set for natural gas production at 970 million cubic feet per day, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission of the Department of Mineral Resources.

There were 9,322 wells in production in July, also an all-time high.

Most of the production was in the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Completed wells grew by 251 in July, compared to 102 in June.

Big operators in Bakken include Hess, Statoil, ExxonMobil, and Marathon Oil.

The Bakken shale formation reaches from North Dakota to parts of Montana and Canada’s Saskatchewan province.

Oil was discovered there in 1951 but wasn’t commercially produced until recently.

The state estimates total reserves there of 18 billion barrels.

Lynn Helms, director of  the state’s Department of Mineral Resources, said the 6.4% production surge from June to July was due to more hydraulic fracturing after a wet spring and stormy winter that limited crews.

North Dakota now ranks second behind Texas in United States production.

The state added 2,400 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in 2012, for a total of 17,540 miles of pipeline, according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.


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