Oil Rig Future in North Dakota | VideoJeremiah McDaniel | 8/11/2011
Emily Bollinger moved away from the city to escape the hustle and noise, but now she`s finding herself right back in it, with three new oil wells going in just a stone`s throw away from her front porch.
"It`s funny moving from town we thought we`d get away from it all and it`d be peaceful out here but now with the truck traffic it`s really annoying," said Bollinger.
That added traffic comes from some of the more than 190 rigs now being operated in the state.
"Currently in North Dakota we have 192 rigs and they`re operating mainly in four counties, we have the most in McKenzie county followed by William, Mountrail, and Dunn," said Bruce Hicks, assistant director of the North Dakota Oil and Gas Commission.
All of these rigs are having huge infrastructure impacts, and all the trucks are upsetting some residents.
"It`s just kind of frustrating, because I drive a small car and whenever I am passing the trucks they seem to think they get to steal the road and never get over for me and all the trucks do create a lot of dust," said Bollinger.
While the dust is a nuisance for Bollinger, some producers are reporting impacts to their crops.
"Agriculture Commission is also working with the NDSU services to try and study some of those things to see if there are any ill effects," said Hicks.
Fracking is also a worry because states like Wyoming and Colorado have reported problems like ground water pollution, but those wells are shallow and North Dakotas are deep.
"Organizations like the interstate oil and gas company commission and ground water protection council have polled their members which are the regulators in the state and they have found that fracturing hasn`t cause any environmental damage," said Hicks.
While the rigs and the trucks may be nuisances, they are helping the state to thrive, and Hicks says as long as oil prices stay high, we could see them here for the next 15-20 years.
Hicks says that it takes about 120 people to operate a rig, and that means that there are more than 23,000 people working in the oil fields.
The rig count is expected to rise to 240 in the future.