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North Dakota Becomes Nation’s Second-Leading Oil Producer Passing Alaska And California

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An oil drilling rig is seen September 29, 2010 near Stanley, North Dakota. The well is being drilled into the Bakken Formation, one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. It is an interbedded sequence of black shale, siltstone and sandstone that underlies large areas of northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Montana, southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

An oil drilling rig is seen September 29, 2010 near Stanley, North Dakota. The well is being drilled into the Bakken Formation, one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. It is an interbedded sequence of black shale, siltstone and sandstone that underlies large areas of northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Montana, southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has passed Alaska to become the second-leading oil-producing state in the nation, trailing only Texas.

Assistant State Mineral Resources Director Bruce Hicks says North Dakota oil drillers pumped 17.8 million barrels in March, with a daily average of 575,490 barrels.

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission statistician Steve McMains says that state pumped 17.5 million barrels in March, with a daily average of 567,480 barrels.

McMains says Alaska’s oil production has slipped about 15 million barrels a year since 2008.

North Dakota was the ninth-largest oil-producing state just six years ago, but the state’s oil production has nearly quadrupled since March 2007.

North Dakota passed California in January as the third-largest oil-producing state in the nation.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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