Officials: North Dakota oil output may peak within 5 years

New Oil Field Discovery in the North Slope

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) State and industry officials say North Dakota’s oil production may peak within five years as companies finish drilling the most prolific portions of the state’s oil patch.

Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told lawmakers Tuesday that about 20% of drilling activity is now outside of the “core” areas of the state's oil producing region.

The state is producing a near-record average of 1.5 million barrels of oil each day.

Helms and North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness estimated production would peak at about 1.8 million barrels daily if prices hold in the next few years.