North Dakota's oil patch posted one of its strongest months this year with output rising 4% in September.

"There was some really good news in September," Lynn Helms, the state's mineral resources director, said Tuesday. "For the first time since March, we are back over the 1.1 million barrels [of oil] per day mark."

North Dakota produced 1.12 million barrels of oil daily in September, up from 1.07 million barrels in both August and July.

Daily production peaked at 1.52 million barrels in November 2019 before COVID-19 tanked the U.S. economy and the country's oil production.

North Dakota's oil output climbed back over 1.1 million barrels in late 2020 and stayed there through much of 2021. But production has been a bit more anemic this year as North Dakota's now mature oil fields have struggled to attract drilling rigs and oilfield workers.

The state's drill rig count — a harbinger of oil production — stands at 39, down from 43 in October and 46 in September. However, Helms said the swoon isn't a trend, instead reflecting the effects of last week's massive winter storm.

North Dakota's natural gas production rose 2.8% in September over the previous month. And with continued high oil prices, the state's petroleum tax revenue is comfortably above forecasts.

Asked about the recent federal election's effects on oil, Helms said a lot of people in oil and gas states wanted to see a stronger Republican showing to temper Democratic pressure on the petroleum industry.

Instead, "the Biden climate change agenda is alive and well," he said.

Burning fossil fuels is at the heart of global warming, while natural gas production can also lead to climate-endangering methane leaks.