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Wow, North Dakota, That’s a Lot of Oil

The Exchange

It's no secret that North Dakota has been in the middle of an oil boom since about 2008, but a new chart from the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Department of Mineral Resources, shows just how steep the increase has been.

As of 2006, the state was only producing about 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, putting it on par with other mid-tier oil producing states like Kansas, Colorado and Montana. But new hydraulic fracturing techniques and the opening of the massive Bakken formation to drilling changed all that, and as of January 2013 the state was producing an average of 770,000 barrels of crude per day, for a total of 23,834,000 barrels per month. That's double the amount the state was producing just two years ago.

It is a lot of oil, to be sure, but even with this recent explosion in production North Dakota is in just third place nationally. Texas produces a staggering 2,220,000 barrels per day, and the rigs that operate in the U.S. Federal Offshore region account for another 1,389,000 barrels per day. North Dakota currently accounts for about 10% of all U.S. crude production.

What do you think? About 75% of North Dakota's crude oil is transported out of the state via truck and railroad, limiting the amount that the state can extract at any given time due to weather and capacity constraints. Is more pipeline capacity the answer?