Banner year for Bakken crude

Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:23 AM

DENVER, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Whiting Petroleum Corp. said it aims to spend around $1.9 billion in 2013 to follow a banner year of oil and gas production in the northern U.S. Plains.

Whiting, which has headquarters in Denver, announced that it posted a record year in 2012, with an estimated 82,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 22 percent increase from 2011 figures. As of Dec. 31, the company estimated it held proven reserves of more than 375 million boe.

Whiting Chief Executive Officer James Volker said 2012 was a record-setting year for his company, which the North Dakota government described as the top oil producer in the state with an average 66,155 barrels of oil per day.

The company said most of the additions to its proven reserve base came from the Bakken and Three Forks plays spread out over North Dakota and Montana.

Oil production in North Dakota has increased each of the last four years. Much of the production is from the Bakken formation. The boom has overwhelmed existing transport infrastructure, prompting companies to look to rail for Bakken oil deliveries.

The U.S. Interior Department in October approved a request to consider a refinery to process crude oil from Bakken. The North Dakota refinery would be the first new facility in the United States in more than 30 years. The facility could process up to 13,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

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