North Dakota shale activity slowly increasing, though some players are still waiting around for oil to hit $60 per barrel, state official said. Photo by David Gaylor/Shutterstock BISMARCK, N.D., Sept. 19 (UPI) — Oil and natural gas activity in shale-rich North Dakota is on a steady increase, though operators are still cautious about recovery, state data show. State data show 32 rigs are actively exploring for or producing oil and natural gas in North Dakota, down one from last week but relatively in line with levels since July. Rig counts serve as a loose metric for investor confidence in the energy sector and a reflection of the appetite for spending from oil and gas companies. Crude oil prices rallied earlier this year above the $50 mark on suggestions the gap between supply and demand had narrowed to the point of balance. Monthly market reports from the Organization of Petroleum […]