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Bakken pumpjacks in harmony with a North Dakota canola field. (Image courtesy of Whiting Petroluem)

Efficiency and innovation will keep the Bakken afloat

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. cited North Dakota’s innovation and efficiencies in production as the reason the state will stay afloat amidst oil market uncertainty, WDAY reported yesterday.

“Every organization that I’ve been involved in when they’re under stress, you have two option; you can either fold and go home or you can innovate and advance. The great news here is North Dakota’s energy industry has always been able to innovate and advance and that’s what we saw today,” Sen. Heitkamp said.

Senator Heitkamp met with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo to discuss energy commodity markets on Monday at the Public Safety Center in Dickinson. Afterward, they toured headed to Dunn County for an oil rig tour.

To get a firm grasp on the North Dakota oil and gas industry in addition to its role aside agriculture in the state, Giancarlo joined North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness and Justin Bethancourt, the Bakken operations and maintenance superintendent from ConocoPhilips in Dickinson. The Forum reported that Giancarlo wanted to understand the “nuts and bolts” of the Bakken oil and gas industry in order to understand how to assist with North Dakota’s ongoing regulatory concerns.

Efficiency and innovation have improved tremendously since the beginning of the shale oil boom, and producers have been able to ramp up production despite low commodity prices.

“I do come away proud of American ingenuity,” Giancarlo said. “The ability to first ramp up and then build this amazing infrastructure. Then, almost as a reward for their success, to see the fall in prices and then once again readjust to that is tremendous. I don’t know if any other country in the world could have done what we’ve done. But we’re a victim of our own success in some ways.”

To read WDAY’s report about Giancarlo’s visit, click here.

To read The Forum’s story, with details about Sen. Heitcamp and Giancarlo’s discussion about Saudi Arabia and its influence on the oil market, click here. 



  1. In Heitkamp’s quote: a grammatical error: their s/b they’re. etc. usually you are better than that… LOL

    • Oh my goodness, Karin! Thanks for the catch! I pulled the quote directly from another source! It is their mistake, but I should have caught it there. They’re usually better than that, too! (There–I worked all of them (they’re/there/their) in to that!

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