Oil and Gas Energy Development: Bits and Pieces Back »

Population Declines in North Dakota Bakken Communities

Several cities in the North Dakota oil patch are seeing a drop in residents, however, the state’s overall population continues to rise. Minot’s 2016 population has fallen by nearly 800 residents from 2015, which is 1.6 percent of the population. However, Minot’s population is still up 19.2 percent from the 2010 state census.

In 2016 Williston, Watford City and Stanley saw population declines, while Tioga had the largest population decline at 6.2 percent. Most of these population declines are due to slower activity in the oil fields. North Dakota’s population growth came from in and around, Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks, the state’s population grew slightly in 2016 to 757,952.

North Dakota’s Legacy Fund Beset by Lower Oil Prices

The fund has almost $4 billion in it and for the first time legislators are tapping the fund to help balance the budget. North Dakota will spend approximately $200 million to balance the 2017 -19 budget. In 2014 the oil-financed Legacy Fund had revenues of more than $90 million a month flow into it, by 2016 that was reduced to $30 million a month.

The oil and natural gas rig count in the U.S. has increased for 22 straight weeks.

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by eight last week (week of June 1, 2017) to 916. A year ago only 408 rigs were active. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.


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