SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - Without a Bakken Formation in the state of South Dakota, it seems that getting a slice of the energy pie is nothing more than a pipe dream. Being this close to the North Dakota Oil Shale Boom, South Dakota has needed resources to play a tremendous role in the energy industry.
“With all of the activity in North Dakota, we have seen a lot of trucks going through our area to service the oil industry needs and some South Dakota companies have done well doing so,” said Hunter Roberts, South Dakota Energy Policy Director. “We have hired a consultant to see how South Dakota can capture some of the repair and maintenance needs in North Dakota.”
Thompson said there is a business for manufacturing and repair and some South Dakota businesses have done well in those areas; but there is room for improvement. Right now when companies need to have their equipment repaired, they may have to send it to Oklahoma where it will sit for a month. Now with energy booms in Oklahoma and Texas, they are getting busy down there too. It makes sense to truck your equipment to South Dakota in a day where it will be fixed in two days and trucked right back up and working again.
“We are so close to the activity in North Dakota, that we would like to see a hub of oil and gas in the western part of South Dakota,” said Roberts. “We are hoping that when something needs to be sourced, oil companies will look at South Dakota where it isn’t as crazy with seven dollars for a gallon of milk and long waits in gas lines. We are close enough where you can be up there in three hours, do your work and be home that night.”
Thompson said, we are still looking into alternative energy like wind and biofuels. With the high activities of production in North Dakota, we are very interested in getting a piece of that pie. We don’t have the Bakken Formation like North Dakota, Montana and up into Canada so we have to rely on other means to profit from Oil Shale.
“We live close enough to the oil fields where it makes sense for us to manufacture equipment and get it up there,” said Roberts. “We don’t have to be a part of the grind of Willeston, North Dakota where things are crazy right now. We can be a part of the oil industry and enjoy the good quality of life in South Dakota.”
Roberts said, that in the near future we will work with our consultants to see where the needs are in the Bakken area and fill those needs. We have a great business footprint here and that is a good news story. We will concentrate on helping our business continue to build and that will be our focus for the next six months.
Hunter Roberts was a guest on the Greg Belfrage Show June 4, 2013.