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  • Ness: U.S. oil in war with foreign producersMarch 2, 2016

    By Neal A. Shipman
    Farmer Editor

    It is pretty hard to sugarcoat the short-term outlook for the United State’s oil industry.
    After becoming a leading world oil producer thanks to the discovery of shale formations, like North Dakota’s Bakken Formation and oil prices that were above $100 a barrel just two years ago, the nation’s oil industry is now fighting for its life.
    And that was the very somber message that Ron Ness, North Dakota Petroleum Council president, shared during the annual meetings of the Watford City Economic Development Corporation and the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
    “We can’t sugarcoat where we are at as an oil industry,” stated Ness. “We’re in an all-out war with others in the world who supply oil.”
    According to Ness, when oil companies unlocked the code for producing oil from the nation’s shale formations, it put the United States on the road to energy independence. The key to unlocking that code was the use of directional drilling and hydraulic fracing in the shale formations, which resulted in billions of barrels becoming recoverable.
    “We’re making it happen in the Bakken,” stated Ness. “But Saudi Arabia wants to break the American shale producer.”
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