Posted 2/21/18 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Cold December weather was to blame for a slight decrease in North Dakota’s daily oil production.
“Winter weather set in during December,” stated Lynn Helms, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources director during his monthly Director’s Cut on Thursday, Feb. 15. “It was horrific.”
North Dakota’s oil output fell to 1.18 million barrels per day in December, down nearly 15,700 barrels per day from November. The set a record of 1.23 million barrels of oil per day in December of 2014.
While cold temperatures accounted for some of the blame in the slight drop in both oil and natural gas production in the state, Helms also stated there were other factors that came into play.
“The number of well completions went up in December, but there was a large number of wells that were plugged and abandoned,” stated Helms. “The industry took advantage of the opportunity to deal with legacy wells in the fourth quarter of 2017.”
Overall, according to Helms, the state saw a drop of 45 active wells due to the plugging and abandonment activity.
While the 30 to 32 frac crews that are operating in the state have been able to keep pace with the 57 drilling rigs operating in North Dakota, cold temperatures forced some companies not to complete some wells.
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