BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production in September nearly held to record levels set in August, according to a new report.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources report released Tuesday, Oct. 9, said the state produced a daily average of 1.44 million barrels of oil, slightly down from the August's all-time record of 1.48 million barrels. About 96% of the production came in western North Dakota's Bakken and Three Forks formations.

Producers captured 2.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in September, also a step down from August's record of 3 billion cubic feet.

Lynn Helms, the department's director, said September's results were "better than anticipated" based on weather-related road closures that likely curbed production during the month. Helms said he expected a drop in production three times more severe.

Meanwhile, companies continue to burn off much of the gas generated during oil production. Companies flared 18% of all gas during oil production, well above the North Dakota Industrial Commission's goal to flare only 12%.

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Helms said he hopes new processing plants will help the industry reach the goals by the end of January 2020.

A record 16,099 wells were producing in September, up more than 100 since the month before. The report also said 55 drill rigs were operating in North Dakota as of Tuesday.