Business is booming
The oil play in the Bakken formation covers parts of western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Crude oil production in North Dakota grew from a daily average of 115,000 barrels in early 2007 to more than a million barrels a day by April 2014. This represented about 12 percent of the nation’s crude oil production. In March 2012, North Dakota surpassed Alaska as the second largest oil-producing state, trailing only Texas.
Although drilling and production activity has decreased since 2015 due to a drop in the price of crude oil, electrical loads continue to grow. Forecasts predict an additional 850 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity will be needed by 2035 to serve the growing electrical needs in the Bakken. In response to the continuing growth, Basin Electric expanded two peaking stations in the region, the Lonesome Creek Station, west of Watford City, ND, and the Pioneer Generation Station, northwest of Williston, ND, both natural gas-based peaking stations.
Basin Electric has been actively monitoring the growth and planning for transmission and generation needs associated with rapidly increasing loads
Fact sheet on how Basin Electric and its members are serving the Bakken: Serving the Bakken
Basin Electric in the Bakken
- Generation: Basin Electric built two new power plants in the oil patch to serve the demand for electricity
- Transmission: Basin Electric built a new high-voltage transmission line and substations in order to serve member loads in the Bakken service territories. The project was named the Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission Project.
- Infrastructure: Basin Electric's right-of-way staff and member support staff worked in the Bakken on a daily basis to assist in the process of permitting the transmission paths to serve member system loads.
- Meeting the Bakken need - May/June 2012
- A day in the life of Senior Land Surveyor Matt Weeks - Jan/Feb 2015
- Community: Basin Electric's members know though the oil boom has slowed, it hasn't stopped, and the communities are reaping its benefits.