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Study: ND oil industry strong

A new economic study shows the oil industry is a growing part of the state’s economy.

"The study reveals about a $30 billion industry in North Dakota," said North Dakota Petroleum Council president Ron Ness. "60,000 direct jobs. $800 million paid to North Dakotans in direct royalties and other payments. And about $2.2 billion to the state government in terms of revenues."

The study was conducted by two NDSU researchers. It shows the industry has grown nearly 600 percent since 2005. The study shows 2011 numbers.

"Recognizing that growth like this certainly causes its challenges and growing pains, we're still in a fortunate situation," said Ness. "We've got tremendous revenues at the Capitol. We can make the investments. And with great community leaders, the communities have a positive outlook."

Gene Veeder of Watford City is the director of McKenzie County Economic Development. He says he's hoping to use the study results to help attract more and diverse businesses to his community.

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