North Dakota Oil Still Recovering

I have not posted about oil lately, perhaps for obvious reasons. The COVID-led decline is still a thing, though off the low levels of the past. What does this situation look like?

Current production amounts go back to 2018 levels really (that is the last time we hit those levels on the upswing). We are off the lows of the COIVD decline though, which is clearly a good thing. The graph here is alright, but I think looking at the percentage change from year ago levels will be more helpful.

When we look at the percentage change from the prior year we see some nice ups and downs of a growing industry that matures and hits some bumps in the road. Even some of the declines are still declines that end up in positive growth territory. Remember with this graph that anything above the zero line is still an increase from the year prior level, so it is positive growth. The declines after the onset of COVID are intense and there is a recovery, but we have yet to see if it will be maintained.

This is clearly important for the fiscal and economic position of the state. Oil was, and remains, a significant driver of employment and tax revenues for the state and so the path for this industry matters greatly. The current circumstances may best be thought of as a restart, though it is not clear that it is a restart without hiccups.

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