December 16, 2010

Oil country

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

McLean County may not be a big player yet in the oil industry, but a small portion of extreme northwest McLean County is picking up steam as activity expands south from bustling Mountrail County, where activity is abundant. While a major impact is not being felt yet in the county, one of the beneficiaries of oil exploration in the county is McLean Electric Cooperative. While there have been existing producing wells north of Raub in northwest McLean County for years (called Lucky Mound), the new activity is located farther west in the extreme northwest part of the county. For now, the activity is sandwiched between Lake Sakakawea and North Dakota Highway 37/1804 leading to Parshall. MEC General Manager Marty Dahl said that like the flow of oil, status of activity is fluid. But like any liquid, "it changes rather rapidly." In 2010, 12 sites have been connected (energized) by MEC. Dahl knows of an additional 12-18 more that will request power in 2011. The main player in activity in McLean County is Questar. But Dahl said other companies are giving McLean County a closer look as well. One in particular is Marathon Oil.

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