The latest numbers for North Dakota show that McKenzie County, in western North Dakota, now has a solid hold as the state’s top oil producing county.
Watford City, the county seat of McKenzie County, is currently home to more drilling rigs than any other county. The center of the North Dakota Oil Boom.
McKenzie County produces nearly 500,000 more barrels of oil and double the amount of natural gas per month than Mountrail County, the next-closest ranked county in North Dakota.
Less than ten years ago, North Dakota was experiencing a net-out migration. Now, it boasts two of the nation’s fastest growing micro areas, with McKenzie County at the heart of it all. The rush of new residents to North Dakota’s oil field has caused the state’s population to grow 9.9 percent since the 2010 Census – more than any other state in the union. McKenzie County, growing 72.9% from 2010 to 2014, has bulged at the seams and remains a land ripe with development and investment opportunities.
Experts project growth in the McKenzie, Divide and Williams county area through 2039. According to Lynn Helms, the Department of Mineral Resources director, the Bakken Oil Play and Three Forks Play are now estimated to hold 10 to 14 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Continental Resources, one of the largest lease holders in the state, believes the total is closer to 32 to 36 billion barrels. All indications show a bright future for Watford City and the surrounding communities.