Exploration and Production


photo: denr.sd.gov

Crude Oil

Although South Dakota has modest production with proved oil reserves mainly located in Harding County, South Dakota also remains largely under-explored.  Harding County produces the bulk of the state’s crude oil and natural gas, mostly from traditional vertical wells.  Fall River County also has a history of exploration and production.  Oil production in South Dakota has been fairly steady for decades.

  • South Dakota ranked 25th out of 31 producing states in the U.S. in production in 2013.
  • South Dakota produced approximately 1.8 million barrels of oil in 2013.

Natural Gas

Like crude oil, natural gas production is modest, and almost all of it is produced in association with crude oil.

  • Industry, including agriculture, is the largest natural gas consuming sector in the state.
  • Nearly one-half of South Dakota households use natural gas as their primary fuel for home heating.
  • South Dakota ranked 23rd out of 33 producing states in the U.S. in natural gas production in 2014.
  • South Dakota produced 16.2 million cu ft of natural gas in 2013.

Natural gas enters the state by pipelines, primarily from North Dakota. Over nine-tenths of the natural gas received in South Dakota is shipped on to Minnesota. The state has no underground natural gas storage.