As North Dakota crude oil production took a sharp nose dive in April because of voluntary cutbacks by producers, the two refineries also took a hit, declining 2% over February, in the production of diesel fuel.

“With the refined products demand destruction in March/April/May, most, if not all, Midwest refineries were cutting back runs,” said Justin Kringstad, executive director of the ND Pipeline Authority.

While processing declined at Marathon Petroleum’s two refineries at Mandan and Dickinson, which have a combined capacity of over 91,000 BOPD, rail exports out of state jumped from 18% in February to 21% in April because of higher prices offered at East and West Coast refineries.

The Dept. of Mineral Resources said that with the sharp decline of 211,021 BOPD to 1,219,086, May production is expected to drop to below 1 million BOPD.  Low crude oil prices and continued low demand forced producers to cut back production on existing wells.

With 14 rigs currently drilling in the state, 58 wells were completed in April while another 944 were waiting on fracing and completion. The NDMR said 2,168 wells were listed as inactive.

Gas capture increased to 88% as flaring volumes from March to April decreased 129,993 Mcf a day to 314,155 Mcf a day. Gas production remains uneconomical as the Northern Border price for delivery at Watford City dropped to $1.22 per Mcf.