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Top 5 Bakken stories of the week

Here are the top five stories from Bakken.com for the week of March 21 through March 27. Enjoy!

5. You can go home: Returnees to ND oil boom town here to stay

In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, Erin White stands for a photo at the oil services company where she works in Watford City, N.D. Like so many teens, White thought of her high school diploma as a one-way ticket out of town. She didn't expect to be back. After college, she and her husband, Lange, settled in the grasslands of eastern Colorado. But when his temporary stint as an airplane mechanic ended, he needed work. White's parents piped up: There are lots of jobs at home. If you want in on the oil bonanza, they said, now's the time. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, Erin White stands for a photo at the oil services company where she works in Watford City, N.D. Like so many teens, White thought of her high school diploma as a one-way ticket out of town. She didn’t expect to be back. After college, she and her husband, Lange, settled in the grasslands of eastern Colorado. But when his temporary stint as an airplane mechanic ended, he needed work. White’s parents piped up: There are lots of jobs at home. If you want in on the oil bonanza, they said, now’s the time. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Before oil tanker trucks rumbled down the roads at all hours, this town was so quiet that Erin White rode her horse to a deserted Main Street one night. Back then, this was a dusty hamlet with few prospects for a future.

Like many teens, White didn’t expect to be back after college. She and her husband, Lange, settled in eastern Colorado. But when his temporary stint as an airplane mechanic ended, he needed work. White’s parents weighed in: There were lots of oil jobs back home.

Within two days, White’s husband had one. She found work soon after they returned to her family’s ranch 40 miles from town, joining a reverse migration that was unthinkable a decade ago. The discovery of crude oil here has been a powerful population magnet, not just bringing hordes of outsiders to the Bakken but luring back others who’ve discovered that, yes, they can go home again. To read the full article, click here.

4. Continental Resources adds to oil acreage at North Dakota auction

Storage tanks stand on a Continental Resources oil production site near Williston, North Dakota January 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Storage tanks stand on a Continental Resources oil production site near Williston, North Dakota January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

WILLISTON, N.D. – Continental Resources Inc, the second-largest North Dakota oil producer, spent $2.3 million at a state land auction for the right to explore for crude on 160 acres, outbidding its nearest rival with just seconds left on the clock.

The deal, secured this week with a check to state officials, shows that despite the more-than 60 percent drop in crude prices since last summer, demand for oil-rich acreage in the state remains high. With most of its mineral rights spoken for, any new auctions tend to elicit strong interest, usually from smaller companies hoping for a sliver of North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation.

While larger industry peers have curbed 2015 output forecasts, Continental has taken a bullish view and expressed confidence oil prices will rebound by December. Chief Executive Harold Hamm told Wall Street last month he expects the company’s output to jump as much as 20 percent this year. To read the full article, click here.

3. Halliburton closing Minot facility, transferring many jobs

Halliburton

MINOT, N.D. — Houston-based oil field services company Halliburton is suspending operations at its facility in Minot and transferring many of the jobs there to locations in Williston and Dickinson.

Spokeswoman Susie McMichael says the company will shut down the Minot facility on April 1 due to “changing business needs from its customers.” To read the full article, click here.

2. Pickens: Expect $70 per barrel this year

Getty Images via NewsCred

Getty Images via NewsCred

Could an oil and gas bounce-back loom in America’s near future? During his appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” energy magnate Boone Pickens seems to think so, forecasting prices to rise to $70 per barrel by the end of the year.

Pickens noted producers’ efforts to balance the rocky market with rig cuts, but blamed overzealous production habits for slashing oil prices by half since June. Today, U.S. crude prices reached as low as $43.

Baker Hughes reported a rig count of 866; a far cry from the U.S. high of 4,530 in 1981, but still well above the low of 488. To read the full article, click here.

1. US drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat

This Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 photo shows a number of idle oil drilling rigs in Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company's yard in Ector County, Texas. Companies are leaning on new techniques and technology to get more oil out of every well they drill, and furiously cutting costs in an effort to keep U.S. oil competitive with much lower-cost oil flowing out of the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Odessa American, Courtney Sacco)

This Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 photo shows a number of idle oil drilling rigs in Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company’s yard in Ector County, Texas. Companies are leaning on new techniques and technology to get more oil out of every well they drill, and furiously cutting costs in an effort to keep U.S. oil competitive with much lower-cost oil flowing out of the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Odessa American, Courtney Sacco)

NEW YORK — OPEC and lower global oil prices delivered a one-two punch to the drillers in North Dakota and Texas who brought the U.S. one of the biggest booms in the history of the global oil industry.

Now they are fighting back.

Companies are leaning on new techniques and technology to get more oil out of every well they drill, and furiously cutting costs in an effort to keep U.S. oil competitive with much lower-cost oil flowing out of the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere.

“Everybody gets a little more imaginative, because they need to,” says Hans-Christian Freitag, vice president of technology for the drilling services company Baker Hughes. To read the full article, click here.

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