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North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the U.S., after Texas. The average well produces about 72 barrels of oil per day.

North Dakota’s oil industry generates more than $12 billion of economic activity and supports 35,000 direct workers and more than 65,000 indirect jobs across all sectors of the economy. The necessary job skills continue to broaden as industry moves from the exploration phase towards the development phase.

As more new wells begin producing, more technical, permanent jobs will result. The average annual wage for an oil industry employee in North Dakota in 2011 was approximately $89,020, which is 117.5 percent above the statewide average wage of $40,914.

Oil in North Dakota

  • North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the U.S.
  • In 2011, North Dakota produced 153 million barrels of oil, a 35 percent increase over 2010 and a 233 percent increase over 2007.
  • In May 2012, there were 8,000 wells producing 639,000 barrels of oil per day. The average well produced approximately 72 barrels of oil per day.
  • The oil and gas industry reported $3.556 billion in taxable sales and purchases in 2011, and $1,296.1 million in oil extraction and gross production tax revenues.
  • In 2011, the oil industry paid $134 million in royalties and lease bonuses to the North Dakota Lands and Minerals Trust Fund. An additional $212 million of royalties, bonuses and oil extraction tax revenues were received by the Common Schools Trust Fund and the other 12 permanent trust funds managed for the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands.
  • Oil production on the Three Affiliated Tribes has grown from virtually zero production in 2007 to nearly 108,000 barrels of oil per day in 2012. In April 2012, there were 616 wells producing representing 20 percent of the state’s daily oil production.
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