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ND posts record annual oil production again

Associated Press Modified: November 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm •  Published: November 13, 2012

Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said oil companies have benefited this year from more efficient drill rigs and favorable weather.

"It's remarkable," said Ness, whose group represents several hundred companies working in the state's oil patch. "Bakken oil is going to refiners all across the country now."

Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, said the state has forecast oil production records over the next decade.

The ability to move crude to market is keeping pace with North Dakota's oil production, Kringstad said. Nearly half of North Dakota's crude is being shipped by rail due to the lack of pipeline capacity, he said.

Increased pipeline infrastructure that could increase so-called takeaway capacity by 195,000 barrels daily is expected to come on line early next year, Kringstad said.

North Dakota began producing oil in 1951. Ritter, of the state Department of Mineral Resources, said the state has tallied more than 2 billion barrels of oil since then, mostly in the last few years.

"We've done some number crunching, and if we average 20 million barrels a month, we could hit our 3 billionth barrel in less than three years," she said.