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North Dakota oil numbers hold steady, natural gas breaks record in January

An oil jack extracts crude from the Bakken oil field in western North Dakota. Forum News Service

BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production held steady in January at 1.4 million barrels per day while natural gas production reached a new high, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday, March 15.

The state produced 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in January, an increase of 2.6 percent, according to preliminary figures.

Operators focused activity on the core of the Bakken, where wells produce the most gas associated with oil production, said Director Lynn Helms.

“We’re back to that pattern where gas is increasing much faster than crude oil and putting pressure on the gas gathering and processing,” Helms said.

Oil companies captured a record volume of natural gas in January at 2.2 billion cubic feet per day. The volume of gas flared in January decreased slightly to 507 million cubic feet per day, staying at 19 percent statewide. The North Dakota Industrial Commission gas capture goal calls for operators to limit Bakken flaring to 12 percent.

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