North Dakota could soon be nation's No. 2 oil producer

The state is on track to overtake California and Alaska in oil production. It would trail only Texas. The state now pumps out about 444,000 barrels a day.
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The state is on track to overtake California and Alaska in oil production. It would trail only Texas. The state now pumps out about 444,000 barrels a day.

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The controversial hydraulic fracturing process, which extracts oil from shale, has boosted our neighbor's oil output to more than a half-million barrels a day. The oil rush has also helped drive down unemployment, with oil companies claiming there are more jobs than people.

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Records from the state's Department of Natural Resources show North Dakota produced 18.3 million barrels of crude in April -- up from 17.9 million barrels in March. Minnesota's western neighbor has surpassed Alaska to take the No. 2 slot among the states. Natural gas production also set a record in April.

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