January 29, 2024 [Oil Price]- North Dakota’s production of crude oil is returning to full force at a quicker pace than first suggested by authorities, new data from the state’s regulator showed on Friday.
Crude oil production in the Peace Garden State is now down by between 30,000 and 80,000 bpd after extreme cold led to operational challenges. Associated natural gas production—the natural gas produced as a byproduct of crude oil production—was estimated to be down 0.10 and .22 Bcfd.
Extreme weather cut crude oil production in North Dakota by hundreds of thousands of barrels. At the peak of the production outages due to the cold temperatures, 650,000 bpd—roughly half of what North Dakota typically produces—was taken offline. Just a week ago, the North Dakota Pipeline Authority said that production had clawed back to settle at just 350,000 – 400,000 bpd, but cautioned that it could be another month before its production returned to normal.
Today’s data, however, suggests that production could return to normal before a month, with less than 80,000 bpd of crude production remaining offline.
Production outages from the Bakken—one of the largest deposits of crude oil and natural gas in the United States—and disruption of oil tanker traffic due to fears about traversing the Red Sea have contributed to a rise in crude oil prices. On Friday, WTI was trading at $76.94—a $2.80 rise from a month ago. Brent crude was more than $3 less than what it is today.
The Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and U.S. production outages have perhaps made OPEC+’s job a bit easier as it tries to curb oil production to keep oil markets in check.
In other North Dakota’ oil news, the state’s Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms, who held office during North Dakota’s oil boom that catapulted it to the nation’s third-most prolific oil producer, announced on Thursday that he is retiring effective June 30.
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