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May oil production up in ND; rig count still low

WILLISTON, N.D. - North Dakota oil production increased 2.7 percent in May to 1.2 million barrels per day, according to preliminary figures Friday by the Department of Mineral Resources.

WILLISTON, N.D. – North Dakota oil production increased 2.7 percent in May to 1.2 million barrels per day, according to preliminary figures Friday by the Department of Mineral Resources.

While the number of wells completed in May didn’t increase significantly, the initial production rates are increasing by 10 to 20 percent per month because operators are focusing on wells in the core areas of the Bakken and Three Forks, Lynn Helms wrote in his monthly update.

At the end of May, North Dakota had an estimated 925 wells waiting on fracking crews, the same as the end of April.

Natural gas production increased 6.4 percent to an average of 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, a new all-time high, according to the preliminary figures.

The percentage of natural gas flared remained unchanged since April at 18 percent.

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The number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota was 73 on Friday, the lowest since November 2009. The low price of oil remains the main reason for the slowdown, Helms wrote.

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