The state’s Department of Mineral Resources said in its monthly production update that output had risen by 15,000 bpd in the second month of 2014 after unusually cold and stormy weather had chopped flows by 55,000 bpd in December from the state’s giant Bakken shale.
Output edged up by 7000 bpd in January, but that was still well below the expected 1 million bpd that regulators were anticipating by the end of 2013. The state hit an all-time high of 976,000 bpd in November.
Director Lynn Helms said that seven-digit milestone would likely be surpassed in March or April, however.
“The biggest production impact was still the weather,” Reuters quoted director Lynn Helms as saying. “February had 18 days with temperatures 5-plus degrees (Fahrenheit) below normal. Add to that four days with wind gusts too high for completion work, and progress is slow.”
Helms said production would likely jump by between 50,000 and 70,000 bpd month-on-month when summer gets underway.
North Dakota had a backlog of 650 wells that had been drilled but were awaiting completion, according to the latest report. There were 413 such wells a year ago.
The Bakken has some 7100 wells currently in production.
Consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects the industry to spend around $15 billion on drilling and completions in the Bakken this year.