North Dakota oil production averaged over 1.05 million b/d in April, up nearly 25,000 b/d from March, the state Department of Mineral Resources said Tuesday.

Oil production in April was still nearly 177,000 b/d below the all-time monthly record set in December 2014, according to state data.

April marked the third month in a row that production remained above the 1 million b/d threshold. Since crossing over the 1 million b/d mark in April 2014, statewide monthly oil production has fallen below 1 million b/d just four times.

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Statewide natural gas production averaged nearly 1.84 Bcf/d in April, up from 1.73 Bcf/d in March and an all-time record, according to preliminary data.

The state reported 13,717 producing wells in April, up 24 from March and also an all-time high. Drilling permits fell from 93 in March to 58 in April but have since climbed to 100 in May, according to state data.

“Operators are maintaining a permit inventory that will accommodate increased drilling price points within the next 12 months,” Lynn Helms, the state’s top oil and gas regulator, said in a statement.

There were 830 wells waiting on completion at the end of April, up 141 wells from the previous month.

North Dakota’s rig count averaged 50 in April, up four from March, but well below the all-time high of 218 set in May 2012. The statewide rig count was 55 on Tuesday.

“Operators have shifted from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases and decreases throughout 2017, as WTI oil price moves above and below $50/barrel,” Helms said.

–Brian Scheid,

–Edited by Derek Sands,

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