Despite weather challenges, the production of crude oil in North Dakota averaged an all-time high of 770,000 barrels a day in December 2012, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“Total annual production more than doubled between 2010 and 2012 through the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of deposits in the Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin,” reports the federal agency, which is part of the Energy Department. “North Dakota production in 2012 trailed only Texas and the U.S. Federal Offshore Region, and the state accounted for 10 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.”
Preliminary data from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources previously indicated that state oil production had reached a record high. The federal report issued in March essentially confirms the finding.
North Dakota production totals began to soar steadily about five years ago. The biggest obstacle to production increases has been the weather. Harsh weather held down production in November 2012 and in January 2013, according to the EIA.
Much of the crude oil production in North Dakota is transported by truck to railcars. Severe weather can temporarily impede track traffic and lower production. So it was nice to see North Dakota hit a production record during a winter month.