What Killed the 1980’s oil boom in North Dakota?

The 1980’s oil boom in North Dakota was driven by vertical production of the Red River and Madison Formations. The main reason for this oil boom was because of increased tax incentives put in place by the North Dakota State Legislature. The oil boom produced the highest rig count up until recent history. The boom was busted because of a significant drop in oil prices and the area was devastated.

Today, the boom is much different because it is associated with the Bakken Shale and has over a 90% success drilling rate for economic oil wells. This boom should continue for decades unless the EPA outlaws or severely regulates hydraulic fracturing, or the price of oil falls below $50 per barrel for an extended period of time.

Most industry and government officials agree these two worst-case scenarios are highly unlikely.

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