North Dakota’s oil and gas tax revenues have exceeded expectations so far this budget cycle, prompting tempered optimism from state lawmakers.
Oil and gas tax collections surpassed $1.4 billion through April, 22.8 percent above forecasted totals. That’s due to better-than-anticipated oil production and prices, according to a report sent to state lawmakers Friday.
The report covered the first nine months of the biennium that started in July 2017. Revenue collections reflect oil production and prices from two months prior.
Republican state Sen. Ray Holmberg, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said legislators were “more conservative” with their forecast. But he also credited a healthy oil industry that propelled unprecedented growth in state revenues just a few years ago.
I assume the pols from from Fargo, West Fargo, and Grand Forks are already looking at ways to spend this revenue.
Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said oilfield technology has “advanced rapidly,” and he predicted the industry would “likely” exceed the production record of 1.2 million barrels per day in the coming months.
Ron Ness has seldom been wrong when it comes to the oil sector in North Dakota.
Less than a year ago, Moody's downgraded Williston Public School District 1, and the editors at The Atlantic Monthly wrote off the Bakken as a bust.
Be happy, don't worry: