Oil, gas production increases in N. Dakota

July 16, 2013 at 7:53 AM

BISMARCK, N.D., July 16 (UPI) -- A slower pace of leasing and drilling permit activity did little to curb oil and natural gas production in the Bakken and Three Forks area of North Dakota.

The Energy Department said energy production from North Dakota helped turn the state's economy around from one of the nation's worst to one of the best performers in 10 years. New drilling techniques have unlocked oil and natural gas reserves in the Bakken and Three Forks areas previously off limits to energy companies.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported a May oil production level of 810,129 barrels per day, an all-time high and 2 percent increase from April levels. Natural gas production posted similar gains with an all-time high of 899,977 cubic feet per day, a 4.5 percent increase from April.

Last month, North Dakota said heavy snowfall in April limited some of its oil and natural gas production.

Lynn Helms, the state resources director, said in a statement Monday leasing activity in the state was "very slow" and drilling permit activity was "down sharply" in May.

North Dakota said more than 95 percent of the drilling under way in the state targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations

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