In the grasslands of western North Dakota lies one of the biggest domestic oil discoveries that the US has ever seen.
A province that stretches across western North Dakota, northeast Montana, and into Canada, is a province called Bakken. The depths of this land are filled with shale rock formations that are practically seeping with oil.
The combination of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and high oil prices have led production Bakken through the roof. Production went from barely 3,000 barrels a day in 2005 to over 225,000 in 2010, according to the US government’s Enegery Information Administration. The EIA predicts the production of 350,000 barrels a day by 2035, a number that analysts say is way to low.
Harold Hamm, president of the energy company Continental Resources, claims it could produce a million barrels a day by 2020.
Getting to those million barrels a day won’t be easy. One of the biggest challenges involved is moving the oil out.North Dakota isn’t ready for that kind of shipment, pipelines will need to be built, and that takes time.
Another major issue is whether fracking is even safe. Even if it is, convincing the public will take a lot of effort. Extracting oil from shales uses the same process as extracting gas from shale- injecting massive amounts of water , sand, and chemical at high pressure, deep underground, in order to crack the rock formations and let the oil or gas flow.
Many are concerned that oil, gas, or fracking chemicals could migrate into our water supplies. Several water wells have already been contaminated by the process. Even if the fracking material is contained, its disposal remains another issue.
Hamm denies the danger of fracking, saying that the process is a time-tested practice and poses no threat. He has downplayed drought issues in North Dakota with claims that his workers are developing ways to use less water.
He hasn’t even been spooked by the pipeline issue, as he said he’s moving most of his oil out by rail.
The hardest part about his business is the drilling, says Hamm. Making a drill bit go where you want at 10,000 feet below ground is no easy task. Finding qualified skilled workers is also tough.
This might be good news for those in North Dakota looking for work and trying to wean the US off foreign oil. But as for the welfare of our natural resources, people remain worried.
In order to strategize labor distribution, territory management, and production planning,Hamm had better be using the right geographical visuals. MarketMAPS provides accurate geography and custom design like labels, icons, shading, and more in order to make planning likeHamm’s an easier process. Whether or not you’re the next oil tycoon, stay one step ahead with a the right visual tools of your business.
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