It’s official: North Dakota has surpassed California to become the third largest oil-producing state in the Union.
In January, North Dakota produced 16.9 million barrels of oil to California’s 15.8 million barrels.
North Dakota’s crude is coming from the massive Bakken oil patch, where production was up 11,000 barrels in January, over December. There are 6,600 wells and “a record” 205 rigs pumping in North Dakota. It took California 49,000 active wells to produce what we did in the Bakken with just 6600 wells.
Alaska remains the second-largest oil producing state, behind Texas. In January, Alaska produced 18.3 million barrels, averaging 592,000 barrels per day.
It looks like Alaska is on pace to produce fewer than 200 million barrels this year. I predict that that North Dakota will surpass Alaska in oil production by the end of 2012 making it one of the biggest oil producers in the world.