Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.

A 10% increase in the Bakken?

The director of North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, Lynn Helms, has an encouraging prediction. Namely, Helms is predicting that North Dakota’s Bakken Shale will have a 10% growth in oil and natural gas activity in the coming year, with continuing growth in the following two years, according to a recent article by NGI.

Helms, who holds an annual talk on the subject, remarked how the existence of four recent tests for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) will be instrumental in extending the production of oil in the region. Companies which have began using EOR have seen an significant increases in reserve gain. 

What’s behind the increases

In addition to the tests for EOR, Helms credits the following as helping increase oil production:

  • Instances of contacting the most productive rock
  • The success of high-pressure gas injections in certain wells, and the ability of the formation to withstand them
  • Maximizing the fractured area

North Dakota, which currently has 14,000 active wells and the authorization to add another 13,000, can be looking at an economic impact of $125,000.

What does this mean for workers?

So far, it’s difficult to ascertain what this could mean for potential oil workers. Recent articles have noted that transportation of the oil has been more reliant on pipelines rather than traditional methods of trucking or using trains. However, there will almost certainly be a need for workers with oil related experience.

As we have recently noted, an increase in production generally coincides with an increase in oil-related worker injuries,  due to the fact that oilfield work generally comes with a certain degree of danger. 

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