Striking Oil in North Dakota

By on February 16, 2015


Quickly rising as the country’s second largest crude oil producer behind oil giant Texas, North Dakota is now officially America’s new boomtown. Oil output across the state hit a record 1.19 million barrels a day in November 2014.

Since 2011 when production started to increase exponentially, North Dakota has changed a bit and many would agree it is for the better. A state known for not much other than potatoes and boredom, the new boomtown has something to hang their hat on and from the looks of it they’ll continue to have a reason to smile if lowering oil prices level out so the oil its producing is attractive to foreign markets.

The people of North Dakota, mainly in Williston, N.D. where many of the oil developments are based were known as small town folk. But since the oil surge, people from all over the world have flocked to Williston and the population has grown from 15,000 in 2010 to 70,000 according to census numbers. Housing for this growing population was an initial concern but development on both single and multi-family units has increased by 60% in just 3 years.

Road expansion has also helped development. Trucks need to transport the tons of oil being produced in the area and the faster the better. To combat potential traffic problems the state has approved  $1.6 Billion highway investments according to the Department of Transportation to help keep trucks from driving on main roads in these small towns. Air travel to places like Williston or other oil hubs in ND used to be impossible to reach without long drives after landing in Bismark but now Delta is providing about 8 flights a day between Minneapolis and Williston and United will fly routes from Denver and Houston, totaling about 900 seats in or out of Williston everyday!

Luckily travel infrastructure isn’t the only type of expansion, as major facilities such as a 60,000 sq ft medical and professional office has opened, along with a state of the art shopping center has also opened in Williston. The cherry on top though is the gem of a recreation center being built at the cost of $75 million. Equipped with indoor courts, fields and an Olympic sized swimming pool. Making western North Dakota a bit more attractive for those seeking work and comfort in the oil producing industry.