Groups touring Bakken: Business representatives learning about Oil PatchWILLISTON, N.D. — Sylvan Prothero built a vacation around touring North Dakota’s oil fields.
By: Amy Dalrymple, The Jamestown Sun
WILLISTON, N.D. — Sylvan Prothero built a vacation around touring North Dakota’s oil fields.
The Breckenridge, Minn., area farmer was among about 30 people to participate in the first Bakken Field Tour Saturday.
Prothero said his daughter-in-law thought he was crazy for spending the $325 to go on the tour, but he had been reading about the oil boom and wanted to experience it.
“I just thought I’d like to go out there and see what it’s like,” Prothero said. “It is amazing.”
The series of tours is designed to educate people about oil and gas development in northwest North Dakota, whether they’re interested in doing business in the Bakken or just have sheer curiosity.
Saturday’s group included real estate developers, private equity investors, representatives from a trucking company and others from around the state and around the country.
Representatives from Alderon Industries of Hawley, Minn., which manufactures control panels and float switches, attended the tour to learn about opportunities they could pursue in the oil field.
“We didn’t really understand the scope of what was going on,” said Greg Simon, sales and marketing manager.
The guided tour, which left from Williston and went through Watford City, New Town, Stanley and Tioga, drove by drilling rigs, fracking equipment, gas processing plants, crude loading terminals and new housing developments. It also featured a tour of the Target Logistics crew camp near Tioga.
Participants attended an educational workshop Friday night to lay the foundation for what they saw Saturday.
Chuck Geisen, a real estate developer from Green Bay, Wis., attended the tour even though he’s already been working in the Williston area with Landmark Real Estate & Development. Geisen said it expanded his focus and allowed him to network and make new connections.
Jeff Zarling, president of DAWA Solutions Group, which is leading the tour, said the tours have attracted strong interest from people around the country. Tours are scheduled through September leaving from Williston and Minot.
Alderon President Bob Klabunde said after seeing the activity and learning more about the Bakken, his company will be able to better compete in the market.
“The potential is way bigger than I thought,” he said.
Amy Dalrymple is a Forum Communications Co. reporter stationed in the Oil Patch.