While North Dakota may be known for having the country's largest production of sunflowers, the director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) predicts that it will soon become the nation's second-largest oil producer.
According to Lynn Helms, Director of DMR, the northern state will soon surpass both Alaska and California to reach a level of production exceeded only by that of Texas, according to The Associated Press. The northern state is producing 95,000 barrels per day less than California, and 110,000 per day fewer than Alaska.
Current daily production in the state averages 440,000 barrels, which represents a gain of 118,000 barrels from the last year, the media outlet reports. Helms estimates that his state will become the third-largest producer by Q3 2012.
The Bakken formation, which largely resides in North Dakota, contains between 3 billion and 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, according to estimates made by the United States Geological Survey. A report released by North Dakota's DMR indicates that the Three Forks play – also partially located in the state – could hold 2 billion barrels of oil, according to HeatingOil.com.