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ND oil, gas production recovered in May after steep drops

Aftera historic drop from Marchto April, production in North Dakota was essentially flat through May. A more recentreading was positive for future production, with the state's rig count at July 21improved from June.

Gas productionin May made a move upward, to 50.9 Bcf, or 1.64 Bcf/d, on a preliminary basis, accordingto the monthly report from the North Dakota Industrial Commission. That was up fromApril's adjusted total of 48.5 Bcf, for an average of 1.62 Bcf/d, but still laggedbehind March, when production exceeded 53 Bcf.

Oil productionalso moved slightly higher in May. The commission said the state produced 32.5 millionbarrels of oil on a preliminary basis, or 1.05 MMbbl/d. That was a little betterthan April's 31.3-MMbbl adjusted total, which translated to a daily average of 1.04MMbbl/d.

McKenzieCounty was the state's largest producer of both oil and gas in May, with 24.2 Bcfof natural gas and 12.3 MMbbl of oil. All other counties lagged well behind in bothcategories. Williams County was the second-largest gas producer, with a preliminarytotal of 9.9 Bcf. Mountrail County was the second-largest oil producer, with 6.4MMbbl.

The IndustrialCommission reported 31 rigs working in the state as of July 21, up from June's averagerig count of 27.