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ND oil unit approved on 30,000 acres north of Killdeer, could produce 15M barrels

BISMARCK (AP) -- North Dakota regulators have approved a huge new oil production unit north of Killdeer.

It covers 30,000 acres south of the Little Missouri River. It's expected to produce at least 15 million barrels of crude.

The Corral Creek unit includes dozens of potential oil production leases. They'll be managed as one unit by Burlington Resources Inc. Burlington has extensive holdings of rights to produce oil and coal.

North Dakota's Industrial Commission approved the plan Tuesday.

State Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms says operating the leases as one unit means less impact on the landscape. He says there will be fewer oil drilling pads and storage tanks.

About 200 oil rigs are operating in western North Dakota, producing more than 460,000 barrels of oil each day.