North Dakota pumped 17.8 million barrels of oil in March, with a daily average of 575,490 barrels, and has passed Alaska to become the second-leading oil-producing state in the nation, trailing only Texas.

North Dakota owes its quick rise from the number nine spot just six years to improved horizontal drilling techniques in the rich Bakken shale and Three Forks formations in the western part of the state.

Texas is not worried just yet. It produced 1.1 million barrels daily in February and 32.9 million barrels for the whole month and oil production has increased more than 8.2 million barrels from February 2011 to February 2012, records show.

ND becomes nation's second-leading oil producer - Associated Press