February 24, 2012

What’s next for the Bakken?

What’s next for the Bakken?
By Jerry W. Kram
(This is the last of a series of stories from the International Oil and Gas Summit held in New Town, Feb. 1-2.)
It’s happened in North Dakota before. Like the tide, oil development and dollars flowed into the state only to reverse course and flow right back out when oil prices dropped. The impact of the oil bust in the 1980s have made local investors and businesses leery of investing in homes, apartments, shops and services that may sit empty and unused if the bottom falls out of the market.
The need in the oil patch is so great with thousands of oil workers living in less than ideal conditions, that developers are starting to put some serious money into building up the infrastructure of the region. The State of North Dakota, which has seen its coffers swell with oil tax money, is also stepping up to fix roads, provide law enforcement and assist communities with infrastructure. However, the huge influx of humanity still challenges the region’s capacity to provide for them. These problems and opportunities were the subject of many of the speakers at the Allottees International Oil and Gas Summit held in New Town at the beginning of February.

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