BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Data released Monday by the North Dakota government show the number of drilling rigs in active service down nearly 25 percent from the 2012 peak.
Government data show 156 active rigs operations in the state as of Monday, a 16 percent decline from this date in 2014 and 22 percent lower than the historic peak recorded Jan. 26, 2012. Most of the rig activity was recorded in Williston County, host to the Bakken and Three Forks shale oil formations.
The low price for crude oil is forcing energy companies to cut back on spending. Oil services company Baker Hughes last week said the number of rigs actively engaged in exploration or production was down 43 week-on-week, a sign the industry in general is starting to slow.
Production from North Dakota, the No. 2 producer in the country, has yet to report a production decline. State data from November show 1.18 million barrels per day worth of production, a new all-time high.
All of the production declines in recent federal data were from Alaska. Total U.S. oil production is up 14 percent year-on-year. Analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds production outlooks depend on more than the rig county to include things like drilling efficiency and legacy production.
The EIA said Monday drilling declined in North Dakota during the '08-09 recession, but production rates did not drop off in parallel fashion.