Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.

Bakken shale back "in-the-money"

The Bakken region is no stranger to speculation. For years, the region was robust and producing large quantities of oil, before hitting a lull in which many experts and armchair analysts predicted the death (or at least a large-scale rollback) of the region's oil production.

Now, however, as oil hits $70 a barrel, North Dakota's oil wells are again looking like cash cows according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Lower costs, higher profits

The cost of getting oil to the surface in North Dakota has fallen to $41 to $50 per barrel, allowing producers to take in a sizeable profit. However, there are still inefficiencies, according to experts. In particular, a lack of gas pipelines in the region is causing problems, while fracking and horizonal wells have helped the region become more economical.

Nevertheless, the region does remain sensitive to outside pricing.

More production, more risks

Oilfield work is notoriously dangerous. Even the seemingly mundane jobs carry large risks. In nearby Wisconsin, at least 20 people were injured-some seriously-after an explosion in an oil refinery field. Though many oilfields preach high safety standards, things can go wrong in the span of a second, from injuries in the transportation of oil to injuries stemming from extraction and more.

For many of the workers, a serious injury will not only threaten their livelihood, but it can cause serious, even lifelong issues.

Though the region hasn't reported any serious or life-threatening injuries recently, workers need to remain vigilant, particularly when there's a shift to new technologies and new training.

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Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.
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Bismarck, ND 58501

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