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Boomin’ Business

Oil industry players had a good year

Dave Caldwell
Minot Daily News
December 27, 2010

Minot, ND - It's no secret in the Williston Basin that if the oil patch is your business, then business is good.

Just how good for how many businesses, though, is a question that leads to multi-faceted answers. Numerous companies are showing profit and progress in many different ways.

Hess Corp., a longtime player in northwest North Dakota that has in fact been here since the Clarence Iverson No. 1 began producing near Tioga, acquired American Oil and Gas Inc. on Dec. 20 in a move exclusively brokered to obtain more Bakken acreage.

In November, Hess snatched up TRZ Energy for just over $1 billion, netting more than 165,000 acres that were augmented by the 85,000 acquired later from American.

Continental Resources, the most active driller of new wells in North Dakota, currently accounted for 22 of the 164 rigs active in the state as of this past Monday. Continental CEO Harold Hamm recently told an audience at the University of North Dakota that he plans to double that number in the next five years.

Meanwhile, another major player in North Dakota is also posting gains.

Although it didn't make any widely publicized land grabs, EOG Resources announced Dec. 14 that it would pay out a quarterly dividend of more than 15 cents per share.

Halliburton, which recently announced it would be opening offices in Minot's Great Plains Energy Park, made a timely announcement in mid-November that it will be coming out with a new type of fracture stimulation system called "CleanStim."

With hydraulic fracturing coming under great scrutiny across the nation, Halliburton's timing could be fortunate and profitable.

The state was also featured a few months ago in Delta Airlines' Sky Magazine.
The nearly 30-page spread covered several aspects of the state, including the billions of barrels of recoverable oil in northwest North Dakota.

Meanwhile, Marathon Oil has stated that by drilling more than 277 wells in a five-year period, it hopes to be producing 22 million barrels of oil per day by 2013.