North Dakota Petroleum Council Annual Meeting wraps up with discussion on oil and gas production, employment challenges

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 12:14 PM CDT
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WATFORD CITY, N.D. (KUMV) - The North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Annual Meeting concluded Thursday afternoon, wrapping up two days of discussion on the current state of the Bakken.

Another annual meeting is in the books for the North Dakota Petroleum Council. More than 400 members in attendance got a recap of how technology is improving around the region. They also discussed some challenges they face, including workforce.

Slow and steady growth continues to be the trend for oil and gas production in North Dakota. In fact, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said natural gas figures reached historic highs for the month of July, while oil production has improved since this time last year.

Helms said the lower rig counts are due to a number of factors, including a lack of workers. The Bakken GROW project has worked as a potential solution, bringing in more than 30 Ukrainians to the oilfield.

“They are definitely committed and appreciative to the job. It’s been a breath of fresh air,” said Charles Steffan, who recruits workers for ND Energy.

Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said oil and gas technology is always improving and expects even more advancements by next year’s annual meeting.

Another big topic of discussion this week was on the growing use of three-mile laterals (wells that produce horizontally rather than vertically) instead of two, which has expanded drilling opportunities in harder to produce areas.