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North Dakota oil production flat on month in April, natural gas hits all-time high

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North Dakota oil production flat on month in April, natural gas hits all-time high


April oil output slips slightly to 1.391 million b/d

Natural gas production averages over 2.86 Bcf/d

Washington — North Dakota oil production averaged just over 1.391 million b/d in April, down just 572 b/d from March and down about 12,600 b/d from January, when the state's record-high output was reached, according to North Dakota Pipeline Authority data released Friday.

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Statewide natural gas production averaged over 2.86 Bcf/d in April, which broke the all-time gas production record of nearly 2.84 Bcf/d set in March, according to the new agency data. About 19% of the gas produced in North Dakota in April was flared, according to the data.

The state agency said about 1.02 million b/d of oil produced in April, or 73%, was exported from North Dakota by pipeline, and about 264,300 b/d, or about 19% of total production, was shipped out by rail. The rest was either refined in state or trucked to Canada, the data shows.

There were 15,490 producing wells in North Dakota in April, up 125 from March and a new all-time high, according to the state Department of Mineral Resources.

The statewide rig count average 63 in April, climbed to 65 in May and was at 61 Friday, the state DMR said.

"Operators have shifted from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases and decreases based on gas capture, completion crew availability, and oil price," Lynn Helms, the state's top oil and gas regulator, said in a statement. "Current operator plans are to hold the rig count steady or perhaps 2-5 fewer rigs second half of 2019 depending on oil price, workforce and infrastructure constraints."

Helms said a lower crude oil price, gas capture rules, workforce constraints and competition for capital with the Permian and Anadarko plays continue to keep the rig count from climbing.

-- Brian Scheid,

-- Edited by Jim Levesque,