Sky Could Fall on North Dakota’s Oil If We’re Not Careful, Shale Boss Says

All parties with a collective interest in seeing the North Dakota oil experiment succeed need to work together because right now, the boss at the largest stakeholder in the Bakken shale says opponents are drawing a bead on the region. And it’s not just exploration and production that’s a concern.

Oil production from the Bakken shale oil play in North Dakota is increasing at an exponential rate. State government data show production for May, the last full month for which complete information is available, was 977,051 barrels per day, a new all-time high.

On April 28, Continental Resources, the largest stakeholder in the Bakken play, said the field produced its 1 billionth barrel of oil at some point during first quarter 2014. The company’s chairman, Harold Hamm, said that at the rate things are going now, production could hit the 2 million bpd mark by the end of the decade if — and it’s a big if — nothing goes wrong.

“We can’t have any more issues,” Continental’s boss said.