Bakken continues to build momentumNorth Dakota will set a crude oil production record in 2011, if the present trend holds. This is after a rough winter and a tough spring, in which worse-than-normal weather conditions hampered work on rigs and restricted traffic on roads in the oil patch. The state’s workers and economy have benefited mightily from the oil production.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota will set a crude oil production record in 2011, if the present trend holds. This is after a rough winter and a tough spring, in which worse-than-normal weather conditions hampered work on rigs and restricted traffic on roads in the oil patch.
The state’s workers and economy have benefited mightily from the oil production.
It also has pressed North Dakota’s ability to maintain infrastructure and provide safety and environment oversight in production areas. Housing remains a big issue in the western third of the state.
The challenge continues.
Wet conditions in June idled 900 wells. Soggy conditions resulted in weight restrictions on many county roads. Highway 22 near Killdeer was closed when a hillside slumped. For a time, it looked like oil production for the year would be left wanting. But the latest figures show production near 400,000 barrels a day, up about 100,000 barrels a day from last year. There are 200 active drilling rigs working the oil patch. The state has a record 5,558 producing oil wells, which account for 6 percent of U.S. crude production.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple was recently interviewed by Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money.” He pitched the state’s low unemployment to potential workers in the nationally televised CNBC broadcast, and explained how the oil boom and the state’s conservative fiscal policy have combined to give North Dakota a budget surplus. The interview took place near Williston with a line of pumping wells in the background. The program had to have a big impact in areas of the country where the economy continues to be sluggish and unemployment remains high.
In North Dakota, the intensity of oil development has resulted in stories that reflect increased oversight and accompanying issues of equipment safety and protection of migratory birds and waterways. They are reminders that with the benefit of oil production comes the responsibility to do things right. In North Dakota, we understand that and accept it. The state’s residents were schooled in past oil booms and in the development of coal-fired power plants.
The present development of the Bakken Formation suggests more than a boom. The record crude oil production will likely continue well into the future. The opportunities that this energy boon offers North Dakota are many and seemingly larger than life.