Celebrating a Million Barrels - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Celebrating a Million Barrels

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Reaching the milestone took months of drilling and preparation. And yesterday the oil and gas industry celebrated a production level that not many states or countries can match.

"All the way from barrel number one to one million barrels each day,"  says Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

North Dakota is now producing one million barrels of crude every day, and leaders from the energy industry as well as the state celebrated that milestone in Tioga.

"This is as much about history as it is at is to come," says Ron Ness of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

And that history has family roots.

"We never really thought this would happen but it did," says Jim Iverson. 

This is where it all started. This well struck oil in 1951, sparking a frenzy that is still pumping today.

"It's been a part of our lives ever since we've been married. Jim was 21 when the well came in, then he did duty in Korea, and he didn't get mixed up in all the hoopla," says Deanie, Jim's wife.

Over the last 63 years, Clarence Iverson's son, Jim,  has been able to witness how his father's well helped establish one of the biggest oil shale plays in the country.

"Your Dad would be very proud of today. Clarence would have really enjoyed it," says Deanie.

"We're still enjoying it," says Jim.

While the day focused on celebration, the milestone of production does present some challenges.

"Today is a day to be thankful for all the things we have. Tomorrow we go back to work and work on the challenges, but today is a good day," says Jim.

Lorin Bakken is the only son of Henry O Bakken, for whom the Bakken formation is named after a well drilled the same year as Iverson's. Lorin lives in Tioga.


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