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In brief: Bakken oil output projected to hit 1.1 million barrels per day

From Wire Reports

WILLISTON, N.D. – Oil production in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken and Three Forks formations will average 1.1 million barrels per day this year, according to estimates announced Wednesday by a research firm.

Wood Mackenzie anticipates that oil production in the North Dakota and Montana sections of the Bakken and Three Forks formations will grow to 1.7 million barrels per day in 2020.

Last year, North Dakota produced an average just shy of 860,000 barrels per day, according to statistics from the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s oil and gas division.

WASHINGTON – A private survey shows that U.S. companies increased hiring at a healthy pace last month, suggesting that the jobs market is recovering from a brutal winter.

Payroll processer ADP said private employers added 191,000 jobs in March. Hiring was healthy across most industries and businesses of different sizes.

The numbers suggest the government’s jobs report for March, to be released Friday, will show stronger hiring.

The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report.

SeaWorld attendance down 13 percent in 2014

Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13 percent drop in attendance for the first three months of the year.

The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.

The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.

The Orlando, Fla.-based theme park company has been under scrutiny by animal rights activists following the release last year of a documentary film, “Blackfish,” which suggests the parks mistreat their killer whales.

FDA approves first hay fever allergy tablet

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots.

Oralair, a tablet that dissolves under the tongue, is approved for patients ages 10 through 65. It’s to be taken daily starting four months before grass pollen season to reduce allergic reactions to five grass types.

Oralair is made by France’s Stallergenes SA.

U.S. factory orders up 1.6 percent in February

WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories rose in February after two months of declines, but a critical category that signals business investment plans fell.

Factory orders rose 1.6 percent in February, the most in five months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. But demand for core capital goods fell 1.4 percent in February.

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