If the forecast is correct, North Dakota could leapfrog in a few years from the fourth-biggest oil producing state to No. 2, trailing only Texas.
Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources, says it's a rosy picture and there's a huge amount of drilling ahead.
Helms says the state pumps about 350,000 barrels of crude per day and was on pace to produce about 110 million barrels in 2010.
But record rig activity pushed by strong crude prices and refinements in drilling technology could push that to 700,000 barrels a day in the next four to seven years.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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