|SD sees potential for Bakken-related businesses|
|Tuesday, 11 December 2012 15:44|
Organizers titled Tuesday's conference "Opportunities in the Bakken and West River Expansion." Individuals with the oil and gas industry, people in real estate, and political leaders convened in Rapid City to discuss growth and economic opportunities associated with the Bakken Oil Formation and how South Dakota could possibly take advantage of the recent boom.
Former governor of North Dakota Ed Schafer says with the recent industry boom they're seeing more people return to the area who previously left to seek employment elsewhere. Schafer says, "People have moved out of our states for opportunities and jobs and careers in other areas. The oil play in North Dakota and investments in South Dakota, increased activity, are allowing people to move back home, and that's a big deal."
At Tuesday's conference state geologist Derric Iles discussed additional oil exploration here in South Dakota. Iles says our state has great potential for further oil development. Iles says, "I think we do have legitimate unexplored potential, and it's hard for me to assess how much industry interest there really is in South Dakota because the consultants in industry, they don't have to tell us that they're looking at South Dakota. We put our information out on this interactive map and databases and we don't know who's coming to look, but we do know people are looking at it because we track the web statistics."
But Iles says in the near future South Dakota may see a boom not in oil companies, but in spin-off companies that provide materials to the oil industry. Companies like Pipeline Plastics, a Texas based company that constructs PVC Pipe that expanded to Belle Fourche recently simply because of the proximity to the Bakken Formation. Iles says, "Because we are geographically not as well situated in terms of what's under the ground as in North Dakota, I think our greatest potential in the near term is to look at those spin-off industries and service industries that we could establish to help support what's going on out there."
The economy surrounding the Bakken Oil Fields will continue to grow in the years to come. As for South Dakota's potential to take advantage of the oil boom to the north, only time will tell.