North Dakota December oil production topped 1.2 million b/d

Preliminary oil and gas production figures for December 2014 show 1.16 million b/d in oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations and 63,992 b/d from legacy conventional pools, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported.

Preliminary oil and gas production figures for December 2014 show 1.16 million b/d in oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations and 63,992 b/d from legacy conventional pools, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported.

The December total of 1.2 million b/d compared with 1.19 million b/d total for November.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, said drilling activity appeared to be focused on the core counties of Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail, and Williams.

Operators have postponed some completions to avoid high initial production costs given low commodity prices and to achieve North Dakota’s gas capture goals, Helms said. As of Dec. 31, an estimated 750 wells awaited completion services.

The rig count in the Williston basin has fallen rapidly, Helms said in a monthly Director’s Cut note. Utilization rates for rigs capable of drilling deeper than 20,000 ft was about 70% in December and less than 50% for shallow-well rigs capable of drilling 7,000 ft or less.

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