The future of oil exploration in our region got a bit brighter yesterday.
That's the opinion of many people gathered in Regina, Saskatchewan this week for the 21st annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
Jim Olson is in Regina and tells us the people there are buzzing about yesterday's news that the oil reserves in the basin are at least double earlier government estimates.
(Melinda Yurkowski, Saskatchewan Ministry of Economy) "If that holds true, it means exciting times for the next several generations."
That's how one of the organizers of the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference describes her reaction to the news that rather than the less than 4 billion barrels estimated five years ago, there are closer to 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the region.
(Eric Nickel, Saskatchewan Geological Survey) "The number will increase the confidence of the companies already here."
(Ron Ness, ND Petroleum Council) "It will help investors and banks say yes I want to invest in that housing project in Stanley or Watford City - it will be valuable that way."
Throughout the exhibit hall, companies that have already staked a claim to a piece of the oil boom like the sounds of double the potential. True North Steel of Fargo provides tanks to hold the oil.
(Daryl Bachmeier, TrueNorth Steel) "they'll need more capacity and that's what we do."
Target Logistics provides more than four thousand rooms for workers in the oil field - and the company is ready to expand.
(Travis Kelley, Target Logistics) "I think around the Williston area we're around where we want to be but we expect growth down in the Watford City, Dickinson area."
And one vendor sees the new estimate fueling housing projects in the region.
(Dwight Enget, Bakken Staffing) "The biggest impact is on housing, providing homes for families of workers already in the area."
An Alberta company thinks the news simply provides assurance that the economic growth from the oil boom is here to stay.
(John Boxall, Hunting Energy Services) "When we see the breadth of the reserve, it means that these companies will be around for the forseeable future - and beyond."
That's the kind of outlook people tied to the oil boom like to hear. At the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina, Jim Olson, KX News.
The conference continues through tomorrow in Regina.