North Dakota oil production averaged nearly 1.19 million b/d in October, up more than 78,000 b/d from September and the highest average output since August 2015, bolstered by the OPEC supply cut agreement and global economic growth, the state Department of Mineral Resources reported Friday. October’s average output was still roughly 42,000 b/d below the all-time monthly output record set in December 2014, but was the highest month-to-month increase in state history, according to Lynn Helms, the state’s top oil and gas regulator. Statewide natural gas production averaged more than 2.06 Bcf/d, up from 1.95 Bcf/d in September and a new all-time high, the state agency said.
There were also an all-time high of 14,250 producing wells in North Dakota in October, up 51 from September, the agency said.”Weather permitting, we may be starting to look at record numbers again before too long,” Helms said Friday. Helms said that Bakken production has been bolstered by the ongoing OPEC supply cut agreement and current global economic growth. He said if either of those two factors were to change, such as the supply cut agreement collapsing or a decline in economic growth in Asia or Europe, Bakken output would likely decline as well.
OPEC oil output in November fell to 32.35 million b/d, its lowest in six months led by declines in eight of the 14 member countries, an S&P Global Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts showed Thursday. Last week OPEC and non-OPEC countries agreed to a nine-month extension of their production cut agreement through the end of 2018, with an option to review the deal in June. S&P Global Platts Analytics is expecting continued growth in North Dakota Williston Basin oil production, with output rising to 1.234 million b/d in 2020, and 1.308 million b/d in 2022.
Producers in the Bakken have focused on improving efficiencies and cutting costs. As a result, rigs can now drill more wells per month.