Producers in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation increased oil output to a record 727,149 barrels a day in April, according to preliminary data compiled by the state Industrial Commission.

Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) and Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) are among companies that boosted production in the largest U.S. shale formation by 1.2 percent from March. Output was up 33 percent from April 2012.

Increased output from shale formations including the Bakken and the Eagle Ford in southern Texas helped U.S. oil production reach 7.37 million barrels a day in the week ended May 3, the most since February 1992, Energy Information Administration data show. The figure slipped by 76,000 barrels a day to 7.22 million last week.

Bakken oil priced on the spot market in Clearbrook, Minnesota, weakened by 25 cents yesterday to $2.75 a barrel above West Texas Intermediate crude in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

About 75 percent of Bakken oil left North Dakota on trains in April, up from 71 percent in March, the state Pipeline Authority said. About 17 percent was shipped out via pipeline, down from 20 percent in March.

North Dakota produced 793,249 barrels a day, up 1.3 percent from March. The state rig count in April was 186 in April, the same as in May. It’s 184 now, said Lynn Helms, director of the state Mineral Resources Department. Drillers completed 119 wells in April.

Source: Bloomberg

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