NEW YORK, June 17 (Reuters) - Oil production in North Dakota, home to large swaths of the Bakken shale oil play, hit the 1 million barrels per day (bpd) mark in April, data from the state’s Department of Mineral Resources showed on Tuesday.
The state had expected to reach this milestone some time at the end of last year, but a fierce winter had slowed production, delaying growth.
Nevertheless, output from the oil play, which has pushed North Dakota to become the second largest oil-producing state in the country, has grown quickly. In April of last year, the state was producing 790,000 bpd and in January 2013, output was just 740,000 bpd.
The number of well completions in April amounted to 200 while there were 600 wells still awaiting to be hydraulically fractured and made ready to pump oil. The threshold at which the oil production level can be kept steady is 90 well completions.
An expanded gas processing plant at Tioga, in Williams County, has ramped up to full capacity, the department said in its monthly statement. The facility is crucial to cut high levels of gas flaring from oil fields due to a lack of infrastructure.
Hess Corp, which operates the facility, had said earlier the gas plant would have a capacity of processing 250 million cubic feet of gas per day and could rise to above 300 mmcf/d. (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki)