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N.D. Oil Production at Record High

Since 2004, crude oil production in North Dakota has grown an average of 21.1 percent per year to reach 79.7 million barrels in 2009.

Crude oil production in North Dakota rose to nearly 80 million barrels in 2009, an increase of 27 percent from 2008. This growth was the largest gain among the 31 oil-producing states.

However, it was less than the growth in offshore federal PAD (Petroleum Administration for Defense) District 3 in the Gulf of Mexico, which was 33.3 percent.

This month’s “Economic Brief,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on crude oil production in North Dakota and the nation.

North Dakota’s oil production increased sharply in the late 1970s and peaked in 1984 at just less than 53 million barrels. Production declined throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. After a small rise in the mid-1990s, production slowed again. Production dropped to 29 million barrels by 2003.

Since 2004, crude oil production in North Dakota has grown an average of 21.1 percent per year to reach 79.7 million barrels in 2009, which surpassed the previous peak in 2008.

“Early indications suggest that oil production in 2010 will exceed 2009 since data from March show an increase of 14.6 percent from December 2009,” said Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “The economic boom, however, brings a whole host of important issues for the state that we need to address, including the urgent need for affordable housing, effective monitoring of stress levels within families affected by the boom, and planned community development that will revitalize western North Dakota in a sustainable manner.”

Total crude oil production in the U.S. (1.9 billion barrels of oil in 2009) declined each year from 1985 to 2008, except for a slight growth in 1991. From 2008 to 2009, nationwide crude oil production rose 7 percent.

In 2009, North Dakota ranked fifth in crude oil production out of 31 oil-producing states and two federal offshore areas. North Dakota produced an average of more than 218,000 barrels of oil per day in 2009, which was 4.1 percent of the nation’s total production.

The nation’s four largest oil producers in 2009 were the federal offshore area in the Gulf of Mexico (562 million barrels), Texas (394 million barrels), Alaska (235 million barrels) and California (207 million barrels).

Seventeen of North Dakota’s 53 counties produced oil in 2009. Mountrail County was North Dakota’s largest crude oil producer in 2009 (29.7 million barrels), followed by Bowman (13.3 million barrels), McKenzie (10.1 million barrels), Dunn (8.9 million barrels), Williams (5.6 million barrels), Billings (3.9 million barrels) and Bottineau (1.9 million barrels). An additional 10 counties produced the remaining 6.2 million barrels of the state’s overall crude oil in 2009.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
Oil Production by State Preview
(0720 Econ Brief.pdf - 357.56 Kb)
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