There certainly have been plenty of sources that are anticipating hard times in the oil region of Western North Dakota. Despite the drop off in drilling activity, so far, those predictions have been off base. According to the ND Job Service, as of February there are over 21,000 online job postings which is up 7% over January and up 4.3% from last year. It is estimated that the Bakken region will require between 52,000 and 112,000 wells for full oil development. There has currently been approximately 13,000 wells drilled. Each completed well will require 2.2 production workers for as long as the well is producing. Therefore, ultimately the region will require at minimum another 80,000 permanent residents for the oil industry alone notwithstanding all of the jobs those jobs will create. So while there is no doubt that the boom has faded—it is fading into a sustainable industry that will be an economic engine for a long time to come.
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