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NDSU study shows the oil industry's impact in North Dakota

Dave Thompson

A new NDSU study shows North Dakota’s oil industry accounts for more than $42.6 billion in gross business volume.

The study shows the industry creates nearly 50,000 jobs and accounts for $3.8 billion in state and local revenues.

The figures are from 2021 – but were released this week at a Capitol news conference.

"When the industry started expanding, it was driven by oilfield development and infrastructure build out," said NDSU researcher Dean Bangsund. "The growth was unprecedented."

Bangsund said no one was really sure where the industry was going. And he said the state wasn't sure of how to handle it.

"We had a temporary workforce," Bangsund said. "We had a lot of growing pains."

But Bangsund said over the past 8 to 10 years, the industry has matured, meaning the vast majority of the industry’s economic footprint is related to production.

"That means we have a permanent workforce," Bangsund said. "What's going to take place in the industry is largely unaffected by the swings that we would see with oilfield development."

Bangsund said the industry is resilient, and that was shown in its rebound after the COVID pandemic.

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