North Dakota Crude Output Drops To Lowest Since Feb. 2014


NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Oil production in North Dakota dropped more than 10,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) in September, the state Industrial Commission reported on Wednesday, citing continued weakness in oil prices.

The state pumped nearly 972,000 bpd in September, the lowest level since February 2014, data showed. In August, output dropped below the 1 million bpd mark for the first time in over two years.

The latest figures from November show North Dakota's current drilling rig count is 38, up from 33 in October.

Going forward, "operators are shifting from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases throughout 2017 as long as (U.S.) oil prices remain below $60/barrel," Lynn Helms, head of the state's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), said in a statement.

U.S. crude prices hovered just below $46 a barrel on Wednesday.

The state issued 82 drilling permits in October, a large increase from 63 in September, although down from 99 in August, data showed.

"Operators are maintaining a permit inventory that will accommodate a return to the drilling price point within the next 12 months," Helms added.

(Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by David Gregorio)


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