August 11-13, 2015
SLC Energy & Environment Committee Technical Tour

Shale Oil Development in North Dakota


Shale Oil Development in North Dakota

A delegation of SLC Energy and Environment Committee members participated in a study tour of the Bakken Shale Formation, August 11-13, 2015, for the purpose of learning more about issues relating to infrastructure development, preparation of a skilled workforce; long-term environmental concerns, the economic cycle of boom industries, and the challenges facing state legislatures in finding a balance in this arena. North Dakota has been an oil and gas producing state since 1951, but recent technologies, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have unlocked the potential of the Bakken formation, making North Dakota a top oil producer for the nation. Of the 15 states represented by the SLC, 14 have known shale reserves.

The visit included tours of the Bakken Oil Express Rail Terminal, Dakota Prairie Refinery; a reclaimed well site; the ONEOK Garden Creek Plant gas processing facility; and QEP resources drilling rig, well site, and hydraulic fracturing site. The program also included briefings from the North Dakota Petroleum Council, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and a community impacts tour of Watford City, North Dakota. The delegation also met with members of the North Dakota General Assembly to participate in high-level policy discussions concerning the Bakken Shale Formation and related issues.

Participants in the delegation included SLC Energy and Environment Committee Chair Representative William “Bill” Sandifer III, South Carolina; SLC Energy and Environment Committee Vice Chair Representative Lynn Smith, Georgia; Representative Jeff Collins, North Carolina; Senator Ed Emery, Missouri; and Representative Dustin Burrows, Texas.