Study: N.D. oil output may jump threefold by 2025 (Billings Gazette)BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota's oil production could be more than 2 million barrels a day by 2025 — about three times the current rate — according to a state-funded study released Wednesday.
Bentek Energy LLC, an analysis firm based in Evergreen, Colo., also predicts in its study that natural gas production could quintuple to some 3 billion cubic feet by 2025 in the Williston Basin, which includes the Dakotas and Montana.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission requested the $120,000 study in March to forecast the state's future natural gas production potential. Natural gas is a byproduct of oil drilling in North Dakota, where crude production has risen 430 percent since 2007. The state, which pumped about 640,000 barrels of crude daily in May, trails only Texas in U.S. oil production.
Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said the oil prediction might be optimistic.
"This was a gas study, not an in-depth oil study," Ness said. "But as a gas study, it truly is amazing."
The authors of the 129-page report said forecasting oil production was not a primary objective of the study, but it was "an essential part of determining the associated gas forecast."
About a third of the natural gas produced in North Dakota is wasted because collecting systems and pipelines needed to move it to market have not kept pace with oil production. Less than 1 percent of natural gas is flared from oil fields nationwide, according to the Energy Information Administration in Washington, D.C.
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