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Published November 19, 2012, 09:30 PM

Summit Aims to Improve Oil Country Infrastructure in North Dakota

Improving the state's infrastructure in oil country is the number one priority addressed during an energy summit in Bismarck today.

By: Donnell Preskey, KX News

Improving the state's infrastructure in oil country is the number one priority addressed during an energy summit in Bismarck today.

Governor Jack Dalrymple says he plans for unprecedented spending to respond to the rapidly developing areas in western North Dakota.

And as Donnell Preskey reports, oil companies say they are also addressing some of the challenges the state is experiencing, all while dealing with higher costs to drill.

The state of North Dakota and the oil industry are looking at making historical investments to improve infrastructure, the quality of life, and profitability.

Torstein Hole with Statoil says, "It is possible to cope with the challenges as long as have open attitude in finding solutions with oil companies, local authorities and federal government."

Hole has been through a boom before, in Norway.

Statoil entered North Dakota last year.

They are building a 700 mile pipeline to reduce the impacts caused by the rapid oil development.

And they are making major investments to lower their drilling costs.

"We are substituting gas for diesel and using gas from our own production. We hope to have 100% gas burners in future and visiting with fracturing companies on extending that to fracturing operations," says Hole.

Statoil operates about 15 rigs in North Dakota. But it's vision is much bigger for the Bakken.

Hole says, "Statoil will be working on enhancing the recovery of wells in the Bakken."

The company has great success in enhanced recovery in Norway, getting at 50% of the oil that is recoverable.

The recovery rate of the Bakken is between 6 and 8 percent...

Senator John Hoeven says, "If their technology brings it up -- that's how many more billions of barrels of oil."

The potential of a bigger Bakken only increases the notoriety of what is already considered one of the hottest plays in the nation.

GE also shared some ideas on how to make oil development more efficient in North Dakota.

Mobile power units can bring electricity to remote sites being developed before power lines are installed.

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