Author Archives: Arne

Changes in North Dakota Drilling Activity, 2011 to 2016

As you may know, the oil service company Baker Hughes every week publishes a rig count summarizing the number of oil and gas drilling rigs operating in various regions of the U.S. Given that we’re in the deeper stages of … Continue reading

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Harold Hamm and Continental Resources and the Bakken

Since Harold Hamm is the face of Continental Resources and Continental Resources is probably the company most closely identified with the Bakken boom, I dug into the archives for some material on Hamm and the path Continental took from Oklahoma … Continue reading

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Two Illustrations of Booms and Busts in North Dakota’s Oil Industry

This article, written at just about the very start of the current boom, is from the Bismarck Tribune of Tuesday, February 22, 2005, by Lauren Donovan: WATFORD CITY — Watford City knows the good, the bad and the ugly. The … Continue reading

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North Dakota’s Oil Bust in the 1980s

For Christmas 1989, Jeff Meyer of the Associated Press wrote a summary of the state’s economy in the 1980s: Drought and low prices in the energy and farm sectors made the 1980s a decade of despair for some North Dakotans. … Continue reading

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The Start of Horizontal Drilling in North Dakota in 1987

Julie LeFever explains, in a paper called Oil Production from the Bakken Formation: A Short History (available as a pdf from North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources), how the first horizontal well in the Bakken, dug in 1987, changed things … Continue reading

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The North Dakota Oil Production Slump and Turnaround in the 1990s

Despite production growth in the Bakken formation around 1990, at that time North Dakota’s oil industry was in the midst of a 11-year decline, from 1984 through 1994. In March of ’94, the Associated Press reported: Despite lagging production, North … Continue reading

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A Circa 1990 Production Boomlet in the Bakken Formation

In early 1990, stories began emerging about the growth of horizontal drilling in the Bakken formation and the possibility that the technology would provide a resurgence in oil tax revenue for the North Dakota government. By 1989, plummeting oil prices … Continue reading

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