Oil production coming out of the Bakken was closing in on 800,000 barrels of oil per day as of this past March. This has some speculating that the play’s production might be able to top more than a million barrels of oil per day before the year is out. Let’s take a look at some of the companies that are working hard to keep oil pouring out of the Bakken.

Among them is Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO ) , which has upped its guidance for Bakken production by 14% after a strong first quarter. The company thanks its increased utilization of rail capacity for helping it realize higher sales out of the region. During the first quarter, 45% of its Bakken crude oil was transported via rail, an important development in the play that enables producers to send oil to both coasts. Marathon has been further helped by some of the fastest drill times of its entire geographical portfolio; spud-to-spud time is just 25 days. This really helps boost the company’s rate of return, which is very good for its bottom line.

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