North Dakota could double its oil production by 2015 to more than 1 million barrels daily, putting it on par with Texas "if everything goes our way," the state's oil regulator told industry and government officials Wednesday.
Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources, said the increase from about 575,000 barrels at present would depend on a strong global economy, steady oil prices and a favorable federal regulatory climate.
North Dakota has gone from the nation's ninth-biggest oil producer in 2006 to No. 2 this year, trailing only Texas, which produced about 1.1 million barrels daily in February, the most recent month for which there are figures.
The jump in production in North Dakota likely would push the state's population to more than 1 million residents, Helms told an audience of several hundred at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference and Expo in Bismarck.