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ND oil patch continues path of record production

BISMARCK (AP) -- Production in North Dakota's prolific oil patch continues to grow exponentially, with a record number of wells drawing crude at nearly twice the daily rate as two years ago.

Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources, says North Dakota's 4,736 active oil wells pumped an average of 277,403 barrels a day in March.

He says the record 8.6 million barrels produced in March was up from the previous high of 7.3 million barrels in February.

North Dakota natural gas production in March was pegged at an unprecedented 8.6 million cubic feet. That's up from 7.9 million cubic feet in February.