North Dakota Infrastructure Can't Keep Up With Oil Development
Infrastructure challenges in western North Dakota could limit the number of oil and gas drilling rigs in the Bakken system’s rich Williston Basin, industry executives said at a conference.
As companies have flocked to tap resources there, heavy equipment has overwhelmed roads while workers have filled up available housing. The problem is more acute in North Dakota than Montana, said Mark Williams, senior vice president of exploration and development at Whiting Petroleum Corp.
There are close to 220 drilling rigs in the Williston Basin. “We could easily double the number of rigs, purely based on resources,” Williams said.
However, he guessed growth could be capped at 300 rigs in the next few years until infrastructure can catch up.
“The North Dakota infrastructure is stressed,” Williams said. “The road system is very difficult. It’s difficult to move oil field services in this part of the basin.”