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Oil Production in McKenzie County

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News and stories of North Dakota’s Wild West are sweeping the nation and the world. The swift rise in population stemming from Bakken oil development has put Watford City and McKenzie County on the map as a rapid growing community full of diverse opportunities for longtime citizens and new residents settling in and calling the community home.

Once a small rural town of 1,200 on the western edge of North Dakota, Watford City has quickly blossomed into a community of over 10,000 people and growing.

In June 2014, it was reported that McKenzie County was producing nearly 32% of all oil coming out of North Dakota, the second largest oil producing state in the country. 

NORTH DAKOTA'S OIL AND GAS ECONOMY  

[CURRENT AS OF MARCH 2, 2016] 

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North Dakota produced 35.7 million barrels of oil in December 2015, which is an increase of 0.8 percent from the prior month and a 6.1 percent decrease from one year ago. Gas production was at 51.8 million MCF (thousand cubic feet) in December 2015, which is an increase of 3.0 percent from the prior month and a 10.6 percent increase from one year ago. Unsold natural gas accounted for 19.7 percent of all gas produced in December 2015. Natural gas that is flared into the atmosphere, leased for use at production site, or otherwise not marketed is considered unsold. The four core oil and gas producing counties accounted for 92 percent of all oil and gas production in North Dakota. 

The number of oil and gas wells in production in North Dakota was 13,119 in December 2015, which is an increase of 0.1 percent from the prior month and an increase of 8.1 percent from one year ago. Approximately 7 in 10 oil and gas wells are located in the four core oil and gas producing counties. There were 95 oil and gas permits issued in North Dakota for December 2015, a decrease of 24.0 percent from the prior month and a decrease of 62.2 percent from one year ago. The drilling rig count was 64 in December 2015, which is down from the prior month’s 65 count as well as a decrease from last year’s 180 count. A vast majority (89 percent) of the drilling rigs were located in the four core oil and gas producing counties. 

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The North Dakota crude oil first purchase price was $30.67 per barrel in December 2015, which is a 17.1 percent decrease from the prior month and a 39.3 percent decrease from one year ago. The North Dakota natural gas city gate price was $3.94 per MCF in December 2015, which is a 5.3 percent decrease from the prior month and a 34.0 percent decrease from one year ago. 

LABOR MARKET STATISTICS 

North Dakota’s December 2015 unemployment rate was 2.8 percent. The unemployment rate for the four core oil and gas producing counties was 2.2 percent while the unemployment rate for the thirteen balance oil and gas producing counties was 3.4 percent. 

There were 13,599 online job openings in North Dakota in February 2016. Non oil and gas producing counties accounted for 75 percent of all online job openings while the remaining 25 percent were located in the seventeen oil and gas producing counties. 

There were 8,072 active resumés for North Dakota in February 2016. Non oil and gas producing counties accounted for 55 percent of all active resumés while the remaining 45 percent were located in the seventeen oil and gas producing counties. The rate of active resumés per job opening ranged from 0.5 in non oil and gas producing counties to 1.2 in the balance of oil and gas producing counties. A rate less than 1 indicates more job openings than local active resumés. 

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OTHER STATISTICS 

Average quarterly employment for Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2015 decreased year-over-year 17.5 percent for the core oil and gas producing counties while employment in the balance of oil and gas producing counties decreased 6.6 percent. Employment in non oil and gas producing counties increased 0.7 percent. 

Average weekly wages for Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2015 decreased year-over-year 7.5 percent for the core oil and gas producing counties to $1,407 while weekly wages in the balance of oil and gas producing counties decreased 4.4 percent to $1,009. Weekly wages in non oil and gas producing counties increased 2.6 percent to $859. 

Information from www.ndworkforceintelligence.com





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