North Dakota has officially lost its status as the nation’s second-biggest oil producer to New Mexico.
North Dakota produced just over 1 million barrels of oil per day in July, the most recent month for which data is available from the state Oil and Gas Division. The July production marks a 56,000-barrel-per-day or 5% drop from June, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
Texas continues to lead the nation in oil production. The Permian Basin spans parts of New Mexico and Texas, and it’s arguably the biggest competition for North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch. The southern oil-producing region is closer to major refineries and export terminals, and it attracts significant drilling and investment within the oil and gas industry.
North Dakota ranked second, behind Texas, in oil production for nine years. It lost that status to New Mexico in July. The two states had been neck and neck for several months.
New Mexico had 82 rigs drilling Friday, far more than the 27 operating in North Dakota.
North Dakota became the nation’s second-biggest oil producer early in the Bakken oil boom as horizontal drilling and fracking technology sent the state’s oil production skyrocketing. It surpassed Alaska to take second place in 2012.
New Mexico’s rise in crude oil and natural gas production in 2021 follows record production for both fuels in 2020. In 2020, New Mexico crude oil production increased by 133,000 b/d, or 15%, from 2019 to a record annual production of 1.04 million b/d. Natural gas production also increased to a new record of 5.60 Bcf/d in 2020. Natural gas production from the Permian Basin, which spans parts of western Texas and eastern New Mexico, accounted for most of the growth.
New Mexico has been a major producer of oil and natural gas since hydrocarbons were first discovered in the state during the early 1920’s.
(Source: AP News/NMOGA/Midland Reporter/EIA – Image: roughneck in New Mexico/KJZZ)