Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.

Oil supply in N.D. dips, but forecast remains optimistic

Prospects for the Bakken oil fields remain positive as 2018’s second quarter nears. As data from North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources indicates, an uptick in oil production could be on the horizon after a slight dip in December. This news comes as a boon to an already surging oil industry, which could be on the precipice of a record-setting year.

As the North Dakota oil industry continues to thrive, however, a shortage of employees remains an issue. With a high demand for qualified labor, companies may begin upping their efforts to attract talent. Boosted by an optimistic eye to the future for job growth, North Dakota’s economy could see a particularly prosperous 2018.

A minor decline

In December, North Dakota experienced its first month-to-month production decline in six months. 1.18 million barrels of oil were pumped in the state, which was down roughly 1.2 million from November. That’s only about a 1 percent decrease for the second leading oil producer in the U.S., and there appear to be no signs to indicate that’s a trend.

A bright future

Even accounting for the December dip, the future for North Dakota oil production looks bright. Typically seen as a good indicator for future production, the number of oil rigs has risen to 57—up three from this past November. According to the state’s Department of Mineral Resources, companies in North Dakota are planning to add five to 10 additional rigs in the year’s second and third quarters.

For their part, the U.S. government is predicting that oil production around the country will hit 10 million barrels per day, which would break the previous record set in 1970. North Dakota, already a huge oil producer, would figure to play a substantial role in that prolific output.

Green workers must be careful

As qualified and experienced employees remain a scarcity in North Dakota, workers who are new to the industry could find themselves at a greater risk for injury. Safety in the oil fields will have to be a main priority as the state’s economy adjusts to its rapid growth, aiming for a healthy, prosperous future for all North Dakotans.

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