The U.S. produced over six million barrels of oil a day in the first quarter of 2012, the first time since 1998, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. Output in North Dakota skyrocketed to 570,000 barrels a day, outpacing Alaska to become the second-leading oil producer, trailing only Texas which produces 1.8 million barrels a day. North Dakota’s output in March was up by 215,000 barrels a day, a 60% increase from the previous year. The state’s surging oil production is largely attributed to shale formations stretching across western North Dakota.
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