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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

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Fargo, ND - In 2006, North Dakota ranked 9th in crude oil production out of 31 oil-producing states and two federal offshore areas. North Dakota produces an average of 109,000 barrels of oil per day.

This month's "Economic Brief," a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on crude oil production in North Dakota and the nation.

North Dakota's total oil production in 2006, approximately 40 million barrels, was 2.1 percent of the nation's total production. Texas, Alaska and California, the top states in U.S. crude oil production, captured nearly half of the total production in the country (46.9 percent or 879 million barrels).

Nationally, 1.9 billion barrels of oil were produced in 2006, a 0.8 percent decline from 2005. On average, production nationwide has declined 2.7 percent per year since 1986.

North Dakota's oil production increased sharply in the late 1970s and peaked in 1984 at just less than 53 million barrels. Production declined throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. After a small rise in the mid-1990s, production slowed again. Production dropped to 29 million barrels by 2003.

In 2004, production increased 5.9 percent to 31 million barrels. In 2005, production increased another 14.5 percent to 36 million barrels. Production rose 12 percent to 39.9 million barrels in 2006.

"The sharp rise in current production is in reaction to the dramatic price increases we have witnessed during the past five years," says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director.

Sixteen of North Dakota's 53 counties produced crude oil in 2006. Bowman County was the largest crude oil producer in 2006 (16.7 million barrels), followed by McKenzie (5.6 million barrels), Billings (4.7 million barrels), Williams (3.7 million barrels), Bottineau (2.1 million barrels) and Stark (1.9 million barrels). An additional 10 North Dakota counties produced the remaining 5.3 million barrels of the state's crude oil.

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