ND oil expert says spike in crude prices isn’t leading to immediate resurgence in The Bakken
NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) – Like many industries, it was a whirlwind for the energy sector during the first waves of the pandemic.
United States Oil prices have hit their highest point in seven years at $80 per barrel.
“2020 was certainly a really tough year with oil prices plummeting to -$36 and in that $10 range, $20 and all of a sudden 18 months later we’re at $80 is pretty remarkable,” North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said.
The jump in prices came after OPEC and its allies declined to significantly increase oil production. Instead, the group will stick to its plan to increase the global oil supply by four hundred thousand barrels per day next month.
Ness says The Bakken has seen a steady climb in activity as the oil industry tries to economically recover from Covid-19 and workforce issues.
With the turnaround in crude prices, could we see more help wanted signs and an increase in production in Western North Dakota?
“We haven’t really seen a huge resurgence in activity and drilling and exploration. We do anticipate that these prices are going to attract more activity as we move into 2022, maybe in the next few months of 2021,” Ness explained.
A rise in oil prices usually means higher prices at the pump. The national average for unleaded fuel hit a seven year high at $3.27 per gallon. According to GasBuddy.com, North Dakota has seen a 92 cents per gallon increase since January.
Another concern for The Peace Garden State is New Mexico overtaking it for the second biggest oil producing state, but that doesn’t mean North Dakota is slipping.
“They’ve been on the grow in the last year and we’ve been steady or slightly falling. We’re confident that the resources are incredible here. We’re in no means in great decline, it’s just that New Mexico is on a great incline,” Ness said.
Ness says North Dakota produces 1.1 million barrels of Bakken crude per day.