The Roundup -

Official Says Recovery Will Take Time


Some people living in the Bakken area became more optimistic recently when the North Dakota director of mineral resources told Williston, N.D. leaders that oil will come back “with a rush.”

According to the Forum News Service, Lynn Helms told the Williston Chamber of Commerce that he anticipates the community will have 40,000 permanent oil jobs by 2050 and a population of more than 80,000.

Helms said the world’s oil supply will return to balance by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Alan Olson, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association, told the Herald-News that residents shouldn’t expect the oil boom to hit again overnight.

“I think it’s going to be a little while,” Olson said. “I think we can probably have some increased activity if oil prices show some stabilization. I think we’re starting to see that.”

Olson feels that if oil prices would reach a stable price of $60 a barrel, activity would increase in the Bakken. If prices become stable at $45-$50, activity for some traditional vertical wells may take place.

Olson noted there are currently no active rigs in Montana and only about 30 in North Dakota. He explains production in the U.S. has declined because of more production in the Middle East and Russia.

“I’d say maybe by the end of this year, we might see oil in the low to med 50s,” Olson said. “Maybe 60-65 by the end of 2017.”


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