Carpe Diem

Oil and Jobs Are Booming in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP)North Dakota has surpassed Louisiana as the fourth-largest oil-producing state in the nation, the U.S. Energy Department says. North Dakota has risen from being the ninth-largest oil-producing state in 2006.

North Dakota’s oil production has risen sharply with improved horizontal drilling technology in the rich Bakken shale and Three Forks-Sanish formations in the western part of the state. “In the Bakken and the Three Forks, they’re having great success poking new holes,” Grape said. “If you look at the increase, it doesn’t look like it’s letting up.”

BISMARK TRIBUNEIt has taken millions of dollars in investment by private industry to bring the necessary pipelines and rail facilities up to the volume necessary to handle the state’s record crude oil production. It’s an investment that the citizens of North Dakota should appreciate. It means jobs and state tax revenue.

The state set a per-day record of 261,000 barrels in February. Before the infrastructure improvements, the state’s pipeline, rail and refining capacity was only 189,000 barrels a day. Now, based on recent investments, that capacity is about 400,000 barrels a day. It should be enough to handle the expected growth in crude oil production for the next two years, if the price remains steady. And recent history suggests that production from the Bakken Formation will continue to grow beyond that limit.

MP: North Dakota currently has the lowest unemployment in the country at just 4%, and no other state is even really close – the next lowest jobless rate is 4.8% for South Dakota, and Michigan is more than ten points higher at 14.1% for March. The oil and jobs boom in North Dakota is creating a new problem – a temporary shortage of housing for all of the workers, see NY Times article.

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