Nearly two years ago, the North Dakota rig count had doubled from 2016. Earlier this year, despite the takedown of Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani, oil prices remained relatively stable following a tension in international relations that could have caused long lines at the gas pumps in the 1970s. Then last month we saw a massive drop in oil prices designed to force American producers out of the market.

Now, E&E News is reporting that North Dakota saw its largest 6-week drop in oil production ever.

The state's drilling industry was still pulling 1.43 million barrels a day from the Bakken Shale formation at the end of March, according to statistics released Friday. Since then, as many as 7,000 wells have been shut in, and production has fallen to around 950,000 barrels a day, state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said Friday on a conference call with reporters.

As a result of the decline in proces, E&E News reports that the State of North Dakota is considering mandatory production cuts, and using federal stimulus dollars to cap abandoned oil wells.

When I last caught up with Alan Olson from the Montana Petroleum Association, he told me he expects the oil prices to recover by 1st quarter of next year. He also talked about how Montana refiners are better positioned to weather the storm.

Here's the audio from our conversation back on April 21st, 2020: