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North Dakota oil output drops

Decrease comes despite record number of producing wells in US state

Daily crude oil production in North Dakota declined in June even as the number of producing wells reached an all-time high.

The state pumped 1.03 million barrels of oil per day last month, compared to 1.04 million in May, according to preliminary numbers from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Natural gas output fell from 1.853 billion cubic feet per day in May to 1.849 bcfpd in June.

The state counted 13,915 producing wells for June compared to 13,885 the previous month.

Eighty-five percent of the state's producing wells target the Bakken and Three Forks plays.

Oil production in the North Dakota peaked at at 1.227 million barrels of oil per day in December 2014, while natural gas production reached an all-time high of 1.854 bcfpd in May.

The state's rig count increased by five to 55 in June over May but has since reached 57, according to the NDIC. The statewide rig count is down 74% from the 2012 high of 218.

"Operators have shifted from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases and decreases throughout 2017, as WTI oil price moves between $40 and $50/barrel.If WTI drops below $45/barrel fo rmore than 30 days rig count is expected to drop," the NDIC said in its monthly report.

The agency expects oil price weakness to last through the end of 2017.

US crude was trading below $49 per barrel on Friday.

Well completions decreased slightly from 66 in May to 63 in June .

Permitting increased from 109 drilling permits in June to 146 in July, the NDIC said.