OPEC expected to curb production which could help bring jobs back to the Bakken

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BISMARCK, N.D. - For more than a year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the Middle East, or OPEC, has flooded the market with crude oil, driving prices down. Now, that may be changing, which could be good news for the industry in North Dakota.

In economics, if demand stays the same and supply goes down, the price of a commodity will rise.

That's exactly what investors in the Bakken hope happens in North Dakota.

For the first time since 2008, OPEC has agreed to curb oil production.

"Initially yes, it is a good thing for North Dakota. But as far as how good for North Dakota, remains to be seen. The initial reports out of the OPEC meeting is that they've decided to cut production, but how? And how much?" says Alison Ritter, Department of Mineral Resources.

"The catch is, we've heard these things before - three times over the past year. Three times in the last year. They're kinda like the Federal Reserve: all talk and no action," says Eugene Graner, Heartland Investor Services, Inc.

OPEC still has to approve the plan in November. It's expected to limit production to less than 33 million barrels per day.

"It's a lot of words being said right now, but it is encouraging that it could support oil in the upper $40s, low $50s," says Graner.

State officials say the $50 per barrel price point is the magic number to bring fracking crews back to the state.

"Obviously it's jobs but bringing those drilled but uncompleted wells means we have that growth in production, and where we're at right now we can't continue to grow production," says Ritter.

Though the price of crude could benefit from this decision, Graner says it won't hurt you at the pump.

"Outside of the 10 cent fluctuations up or down, we're not going to see much of this right now," says Graner.

If the Federal Reserve continues to keep interest rates down this winter, the dollar could weaken, which would, in turn, drive up oil prices and other commodities as well.

After OPEC's announcement earlier this week, American oil prices shot up five percent to more than $47 a barrel.