The sudden price collapse of North Dakota sweet crude oil has some people in oil country nervous.
Mountrail County is the second-leading oil-producing county in the state.
A newly-elected county commissioner – who was the longtime county auditor – says the drop in the oil price is worrysome because so much of the county’s budget is based on activity in the oil and gas business.
(Joan Hollekim, Mountrail County Commissioner) “If oil prices drop that means our revenues drop and Mountrail County depends on those revenues. They fund a lot of our general fund expenses – a lot of our expenses for the whole county and road and bridges especially on our infrastructure.”
State Representative Don Longmuir says the price decline is very concerning. He says drilling could be curtailed in areas outside of the core region of the Bakken, cutting into oil production. He says legislators will have to be especially careful with how they predict oil tax revenue over the next two years.
(N.D. Rep. Don Longmuir, District 2) “We have to be realistic. I don’t want to be pessimistic, I want to be realistic and not overly optimistic about prices making $60 a barrel or $100 a barrel. I think those days are gone forever.”
Longmuir was first elected to the state legislature two years ago and will begin his second session in the House next month.