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Regulator: ND oil boom like NASCAR race

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota's top oil regulator says the state's booming oil production is a lot like a championship stock car race. State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told the Legislature's Government Finance Committee on Thursday that if the state's oil boom were the Daytona 500, only about 50 laps would be completed. Helms says the state ``hasn't even had a pit stop year and there are lots and lots of laps left and the car is running great.'' North Dakota is the nation's No.2 oil producer behind Texas.

Helms says the state is on pace to surpass 1 million barrels daily early in 2014. Helms says the state has about 10,800 oil wells at present.

He says about 7,200 more wells are expected to be drilled in the next five years.

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