Beyond the Bust: North Dakota drilling region rebounds in a sign the U.S. oil recovery is spreading.Dateline, Watford City:
Radio stations here are again running ads from oil-field companies seeking drivers and mechanics. A store is serving up an alligator-and-crawfish lunch to welcome workers from the Gulf Coast. New rigs are rising across the sprawling prairie.Again, there is much focus on the number of rigs, but for me that only indicates "activity" and there is so much more to the story in 2017 than simply "rig counts."
Drillers are inching back to action in North Dakota’s Bakken shale region, a sign the recovery of the American oil and gas sector is spreading beyond the Texas and Oklahoma fields, where production is cheaper because there is more oil that is easier to tap.
The revival after a nearly three-year bust is welcomed by local industry leaders, officials and merchants, who are grateful to see new signs of life in places such as Watford City, a community of about 6,400 people that was booming just a few years ago. The area is expected to get a boost from the June 1 start-up of the Dakota Access Pipeline, another conduit for oil out of the region. But some are concerned that too much too soon could send oil prices plunging once again.