North Dakota's oil production in April rose 1.3 percent to more than 793,000 barrels of oil per day during the state's coldest April on record, Reuters reported. Home to the Bakken shale formation, production is expected to continue growing as forecasters say as many as 850,000 bpd could be reached by the end of the year.
"We expect a big surge in production in the summer months," said Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources. "I think, based on the number of wells waiting to be fracked and the number of wells being drilled, we'll probably beat the forecast."
Production in North Dakota was greater than Britain and Ecuador combined and came in second behind Texas for the greatest oil production in the United States, according to the report. Oil production of more than 800,000 bpd could come within the next month depending on how the weather plays out in the state.
There were 119 wells fractured and ready to pump oil in April, a decrease of 28 wells compared to March. However, Reuters reported as many as 490 wells have been drilled but still need to be complete.
Justin Kringstad from the North Dakota Pipeline Authority said 75 percent of the crude oil produced by the Bakken field is transported by rail even though it's a more expensive option than transportation by pipeline. Those numbers could change as pipeline capacity is expected to increase to connect the U.S. to the oil market, according to Reuters.
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