Production, employment collapse in North Dakota's Bakken shale during pandemic

Posted at 10:14 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 12:14:00-04

As many as 8,000 jobs have been lost in North Dakota's oil patch as a result of the current economic downturn.

In his monthly April report released Friday, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms says another 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in the Bakken are at risk as the worldwide demand for oil plummets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

North Dakota's March oil production also saw a decline.

In March, North Dakota produced 1,428,273 barrels per day, a drop of more than 23,000 barrels/day from February.

Lower crude oil prices are also cutting into North Dakota's count of active oil rigs and crews.

Only 12 oil rigs are active in the Bakken as of Friday, compared to 35 last month. The number of active completion crews fell from 25 in to 1 since March.

On Friday, North Dakota light crude was selling at $6.75/ barrel. As recent as February, North Dakota oil was selling for $37.21/barrel.