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Crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota's Williston Basin will help account for nearly 1.2 million barrels a day, or 15 percent, of U.S. output by 2015, analysts from Raymond James said today.

The North Dakota rig count rose to a record of 166 in December and production has tripled since 2006, according to the state Industrial Commission Department of Mineral Resources. The analysts predict that will rise to almost 200 by 2013.

“Production growth out of the Williston Basin will have considerable implications for U.S. domestic oil supply,” the analysts, including John Freeman in Houston, said in the note. “Especially in light of the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico  across all water depths.”

The Bakken is the primary formation targeted by producers in the Williston Basin, which covers parts of Montana , North Dakota, South Dakota and Saskatchewan.

More efficient drilling and falling costs will help boost production further, the analysts said. North Dakota output jumped 83 percent to 329,000 barrels a day  in August from two years earlier, according to the latest state-level data from the Energy Department.

Source: Bloomberg

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