Gas production up North Dakota

Sept. 20, 2012 at 7:14 AM

BISMARK, N.D., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- North Dakota officials said daily natural gas production is increasing at a rate greater than oil production in the state.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission, part of the oil and gas division at the Department of Mineral Resources, reported that daily natural gas production for July, the latest date for which data was available, was 718 million cubic feet per day, a state record.

"Daily natural gas production is increasing at a slightly faster than oil production," the commission said in a statement. "This indicates that gas oil ratios may be increasing and more gathering and processing capacity will be needed."

The commission said that the number of rigs working on oil deposits in the shale formations of North Dakota, meanwhile, had "decreased significantly" to around 195. The decline, the NDIC said, was because operators were transitioning to higher-efficiency rigs.

"Over 95 percent of drilling still targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations," it added.

In terms of transport, the commission said less than 45 percent of its daily crude oil production was delivered by pipelines. Rail and truck deliveries, it said, "are adequate to keep up with near term production projections."

Several energy companies working in the region have embraced rail deliveries because of the lack of pipeline infrastructure.

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