North Dakota posted a surprising 15,000 barrel per day output spike in March thanks in part to a slew of new well completions.

The oil rich state pumped about 1.2 million bpd in March, a 1 percent bump from the previous month, Reuters said.

“We scratched our heads in the month of March” director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said.

In its monthly summary report the department said that 12,439 wells were producing hydrocarbons in March while the state had 13,979 rigs capable of producing oil and gas.

North Dakota pumped a total of 36.9 barrels of oil in March and 47.16 billion cubic feet of gas.

According to Reuters about 189 wells were completed in North Dakota during March at locations owned by ConocoPhillips, Hess, ExxonMobil and Continental Resources while the number of wells that have been drilled but not fracked dropped by 20 to 880 wells, reversing months of falling well completion rates.

“These four appear to be more in tune with having normal cash flow, and continue to complete their wells in a more aggressive manner,” Helms said.

Helms said he expects the state’s rig count to fall by only one this week but does not expect the state’s count to jump past 100 rigs in the short term.

North Dakota’s rig count was at 80 rigs as of the week ending on May 8, up 1 rig from the previous week but down from 174 rigs a year ago.


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