Fracking: Good News for North Dakota

Thanks to shale oil, North Dakota’s future looks very, very bright and its status as the ‘economic miracle state’ will continue for decades.

Mark J. Perry, The American Enterprise Institute

State Overview

North Dakota is proud to be the nation’s second-largest oil and natural gas producer, contributing more than 300 million barrels of crude oil to the U.S. supply in 2013 alone. The Bakken Shale Play in North Dakota is estimated to hold 11 billion barrels of oil. North Dakota has had the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. since 2008.  A recent study found that the oil and natural gas industry in North Dakota supports some 64,000 jobs, 12 percent of the state’s total employment. The industry has also contributed $6.6 billion to the state’s economy1

  • Crude oil production is rising about 37 percent each year in North Dakota2.

  • The oil and natural gas industry supported 12 percent of North Dakota’s total employment in 20113.

  • Labor income generated by the oil and natural gas industry in North Dakota was responsible for 13.1 percent of the state’s total in 20113.

Local Stories

The oil and gas industry is bringing growth and opportunity to North Dakota. Fracking developments along the Bakken Shale formation have created good jobs that are luring many young people back to their local communities. 

  • The oil and gas industry is bringing growth and opportunity to North Dakota. Fracking developments along the Bakken Shale formation have created good jobs that are luring many young people back to their local communities. 

  • The Bakken Shale has allowed companies, including Hess Corporation, to expand their operations and hire new workers in North Dakota. Hear from oil and gas industry workers in North Dakota about some of the challenges and opportunities the state presents. 

Did You Know?

  • The Bakken Shale Play accounts for 91 percent of North Dakota's oil production.4      

  • Oil drillers in North Dakota extracted more than 1 million barrels of oil per day in May of 20145.

  • Thanks in large part to the oil and natural gas industry, North Dakota has the lowest state jobless rate in the country at 2.6%6