Two North Dakota Counties Could Be Counted As Second Largest Oil Producing State


Over at Million Dollar Way, Bruce Oksol has some fascinating figures posted for oil production in North Dakota.

They were surprising to me, and I think they speak volumes about some of the challenges North Dakota’s leaders have faced in addressing the oil boom.

First, consider that just 20 counties in the entire United States account for half of the entire country’s oil production. Four North Dakota counties are in that 20 including McKenzie at 5th, Mountrail at 6th, Dunn at 10th, and Williams at 12th.

Second, consider that if we were to count North Dakota’s top two oil-producing counties – McKenzie and Mountrail – as their own state, they’d be the second leading oil producing state in the nation.

That’s pretty amazing, and speaks to just how intensely focused North Dakota’s oil activity has been.

With so much oil being produced in such a relatively small geographic area, is it any wonder the state has struggled with infrastructure and population growth?

North Dakota Democrats are campaigning against Republicans this year on the idea that they would have handled the oil boom better. But given how explosive growth has been, and how focused it’s been, it’s hard to believe how any democratic, representative government could have stayed ahead of the game.

Democrats, of course, want us to give them the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.