Oil patch study released

The North Dakota Department of Commerce has just released the results of an oil patch transportation study. You can find the “Additional Road Investments Needed to Support Oil and Gas Production and Distribution in North Dakota – Executive Summary” here: oil study summary. The entire report can be found here: full study

Gov. Jack Dalrymple used these findings when he created his budget proposal to address infrastructure needs in the oil and gas producing counties. That previous story can be found here: http://northdakota.areavoices.com/?p=86038

Here are some highlights from the full study:

According to the Oil and Gas Division of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, approximately 3,300 wells were producing oil in the state prior to 2005. As of November 2010, that number had risen to 5,200.

Estimates from the Oil and Gas Division suggest that a total of 21,250 wells will be drilled in the next 10 to 20 years.

The purpose of this study is to forecast road investment needs in oil and gas producing counties of North Dakota over the next 20 years in light of the expected growth. The essential objective is to quantify the additional investments necessary for efficient year-round transportation of oil while providing travelers with acceptable roadway service. The focus is on roads owned or maintained by local governments—e.g., counties and townships.


The estimated paved road investment needs amount to $340 million over the next 20 years. Most (75 percent) of these needs are attributable to reconstruction, while 12 percent corresponds to both overlays and annual maintenance.

Approximately 12,718 miles of impacted unpaved roads have been identified. The projected cost of oil-related traffic on these roads is $567 million over the next 20 years (from 2011 through 2030).

When the unpaved and paved road costs are added together, the projected investment need for all roads amounts to $907 million, which is equal to an average annual need of $45.35 million over the 2011-2030 period.