Citing Lynn Helms director of the Division of Mineral Resources of North Dakota, the North American Shale Magazine reported that North Dakota production for February made an unexpected upswing to 1.03 million barrels per day. Contributing to February’s increase was good weather, enabling the deployment of more completion crews. The number of uncompleted wells in North Dakota fell to below 800 wells, the lowest it’s been since December 2014. In September 2015, the state reached a high of nearly 1,100 uncompleted wells. February also saw 74 new Bakken wells added and 93 conventional wells returned to production. More drilling rigs have been added since February and there are now 50 operating in the state. North Dakota’s natural gas production also increased, reaching 148 million cubic feet per day—a 9.5 percent increase over the previous month. Looking at forecasts from the Energy Information Administration, the global supply and demand for oil is expected to be more balanced by early 2018, creating greater market support for oil price. The completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is expected to begin transporting Bakken crude to Gulf Coast markets by the middle of May, bodes well for future North Dakota oil production by creating lower and more stable transportation costs for operators. (Source: North American Shale Magazine – Image: Oilfield truck near Williston / Jorgen Bratland, Statoil)