North Dakota on pace to surpass Alaska oil production
by Dermot Cole
Posted on 1/3/2011
North Dakota could surpass Alaska as an oil-producing state in the next several years, according to the head of the North Dakota Department of Natural Resources.
"It's a pretty rosy picture," Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, tells NPR. "We have a huge amount of drilling still in front of us."
The NPR report says: "Record rig activity pushed by strong crude prices and refinements in drilling technology could result in North Dakota seeing a twofold increase in production. The drilling technology alone has cut the amount of time needed to complete a well from 65 days in 2008 to about 25 days."
"We are now looking at the possibility of 700,000 barrels a day and we see that coming in the next four to seven years," Helms said.
Alaska oil production in 2010 was about 650,000 barrels a day. The rate is declining and the average for 2011 could be close to 610,000, dropping to about 500,000 in three or four years, according to industry and state estimates.
About 200 drilling rigs are expected to be operating in North Dakota this year, the Associated Press said.
Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - entry North Dakota on pace to surpass Alaska oil production