North Dakota led America’s unconventional oil revolution more than a decade ago. Now its Bakken shale field is leading the big retreat.

Oil output in the state, home to the Bakken’s most productive parts, has fallen by more than a third this year—a bigger drop than many individual OPEC producers pledged in their historic supply-cutting deal in April—to less than 1 million bbl/d, according to one industry estimate.

The cutback follows a consumption collapse, triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, that saw U.S. oil prices crash to less than zero last month. Despite recovering to about $26/bbl, the WTI benchmark is still down more than half since the start of the year. As a result, total U.S. oil production is expected to drop by up to 3 million bbl/d from a high near 13 million bbl/d a few months ago, according to analysts.

Already have an account? Log In

Thanks for reading Hart Energy.

Subscribe now to get unmatched coverage of the oil and gas industry’s entire landscape.

Get Access