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Winter slows oil production in North Dakota

Feb. 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM

FARGO, N.D., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Winter took a toll on oil and gas production in North Dakota in December, the state's Department of Mineral Resources said.

Production declined 5.5 percent in the month, as temperatures reached 20 to 30 degrees below zero on several occasions, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday.

Industry observers expect North Dakota to reach the 1 million barrel per day milestone soon. Lynn Helms, director of the Mineral Resources Department, said he expects the state will surpass the milestone before the end of the first quarter.

In December, production dropped to 923,227 barrels per day, down from 976,452 in November, the department said.

North Dakota is expected to supply about 5 percent of the country's oil, a figure that was unheard of until hydraulic fracturing allowed extraction of previously untapped oil reserves.

The state's production is expected to peak in 2027 with production at about 1.32 million barrels a day, the newspaper said.

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