Future outlook of the Bakken

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The Bakken is the second largest oil producing area in the country, second only to a region in Texas.

Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms says the Bakken is expected to break its production record later this year, sooner than expected.

"Our anticipation is the first month that we get thirty days of nice weather and no road restrictions, we're going to break that record," said Helms.

Because of this record breaking production more companies are investing in the Bakken than ever before.

"So, overall investments we could be looking at reversal pipelines, new pipelines, new rail capacity, and new gas processing capacity and infrastructure," said Erec Isaacson, vice president of Rockies Business Unit.

Although the future of the Bakken is good, companies still say there will be challenges ahead.

“We do need more labor and we're going to need more on our labor force," said Brad Holly, president and CEO of Whiting Petroleum Corporation.

Helms says in 2014 there were 56,000 employees in the Bakken, and in 2016 it dropped to 36,000. He says to accomplish what the Bakken is forecasted to do, we need to hire 63,000 more employees by 2020.

Helms says the Bakken brought $127 billion of capital into North Dakota's economy with a lot more to come.