North Dakota Sets More Oil Production Records in October; On Pace to Surpass CA and AK in 2012
Other highlights of the October production report:
1. The number of new wells producing oil in the state increased by almost 1,000 over the last year to a new record of nearly 6,000 wells in October, up from just slightly more than 5,000 wells a year ago.
2. The amount oil produced per well also reached a record high of 82 barrels per day in October, which is almost 50% higher than the 55 barrels per day two years ago, and probably reflects both increasing productivity from technology and drilling in more productive areas.
3. The combination of a record number of wells producing oil at record-setting productivity levels has put North Dakota on a trajectory to surpass both California (539,000 barrels per day) and Alaska (555,000 bpd) by as early as January 2012 to become the No. 2 oil-producing state in the U.S. (see chart above). At the current pace of record-setting monthly gains, North Dakota's oil production is currently on track to break the 600,000 barrels per day level by next March. (Note: Due to a normal seasonal slowdown during some of the winter months, these predictions could be delayed for several months.)
4. At 488,000 barrels per day in October, North Dakota's oil production has now surpassed OPEC-member Ecuador's daily production of 485,000 barrels for the first time.
As a result of the ongoing oil boom in the Bakken area, North Dakota continues to lead the nation with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.5% for October, more than 5 full percentage points below the nation's average 9.0% rate for October. As reported earlier this week on CD, there are ten North Dakota counties with jobless rates below 2%, and Williams County, which is at the center of the Bakken oil boom, boasts the lowest county jobless rate in the country at 0.9%.
Bottom Line: The ongoing record-setting oil production in the Peace Garden State continues to make it the most economically successful state in the country, with record levels of employment and income growth, increasing tax revenues, the lowest foreclosure rate in the country, a strong real estate market, and jaw-dropping jobless rates in many counties of the Bakken region below 2%. "Drill, create and collect."