Several risk factors -- including proposed federal hydraulic fracturing regulations and inadequate capacity in the refining market -- could affect North Dakota's oil production, which is expected to eventually grow to slightly less than 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, said Lynn Helms, director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources. "The Bakken has reached its cruising altitude. It is safe to get up and walk around the Bakken. But you really should sit down and buckle your seat belt because there will be turbulence," Helms said.

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