The Pulse of The Bakken

By Luke Geiver | March 28, 2013

The story of the Bakken oil and gas retrieval effort is worth telling, even if it is just beginning. By now, many of us know something of the Bakken, have some idea about an oil boom and job-creating mecca in western North Dakota, Montana and southern Saskatchewan. But, aside from what we think we know about the play, how long it will last, or what it is like, we do know this: the positive benefits of the oil and gas retrieval project have not even begun to be realized. Drilling efficiencies and the rush to secure leaseholds have eased the pace of drilling and leveled off the rig count below 200 rigs, but as Nancy Hodur, an economist at North Dakota State University, said during a recent press conference detailing the economic impact of the oil and gas industry on the region, this is just the start of the story.

Not a story of the Wild West, overnight millionaires or the Saudi Arabia of North America, sensationalized terms seen in some national and foreign media coverage intended for audiences who will never set foot in the Bakken. She was referring to the economic impact and link between the activity in the Bakken and the surrounding region. That link, an astounding, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and unique challenge, created $30.4 billion in economic activity in 2011, along with 60,000 direct and indirect jobs.

To bring those impressive numbers to life and illustrate the human and physical resources and investments required to responsibly provide services to the ongoing efforts and what it will take in the future, we at BBI International created our own place in this story, The Bakken magazine. Our efforts may just be starting as well, but the content in this inaugural issue—the images of a father-son oil producing team standing on their well site near Fortuna, N.D., during a blizzard—help to reveal what the magazine is about: the people, businesses, service providers and decision makers who are relentlessly developing and transforming themselves and the Bakken into an economic powerhouse. 

The April issue also includes the tale of Tanner Overland, a Williston, N.D., native who has turned an aviation degree into several Bakken-based business, and Red Rock Transportation, a Fergus Falls, Minn., transport company that has transformed in only a few years to a housing management firm, taxi service and multi-liquid transport team, both reveal what is at the heart of The Bakken.

Luke Geiver
The Bakken magazine