McKenzie County, ND and the Bakken Shale Play

McKenzie County, ND

McKenzie County, ND (2,861 sq. miles) is located in North Dakota and sits atop the Bakken Shale play. It is North Dakota's leading oil producing county, with more than 2,300 currently producing wells on file and the highest number of active oil rigs on a month-to-month basis.

McKenzie County recorded its first oil production in the early 1950's, shortly after oil was discovered in the state. Development along the Nesson Anticline in the northeastern part of the county helped establish it as a core producing area for oil production. Shortly after the Bakken boom began, production rose to record levels. The highest total monthly oil production in the county to date was in May, 2014 at 9,685,481 bbls or 312,435 b/d.

McKenzie County's largest cities include Alexander, Arnegard, Watford City, and Mandaree. Watford City is the the largest city in the county and serves as the county seat. County services of interest to oil and gas lease owners include the McKenzie County Appraisal District (tax collector) office and the McKenzie County Clerk (property records) office.

McKenzie County - Bakken Shale Employment Statistics

The following information is provided by the North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network (NDWIN) for McKenzie County, ND:

  • Directly related oil & gas businesses: 453 (2013)
  • Oil & Gas employment: 5,661 people, representing 29% of population (2013)
  • Average wage for oil & gas professionals: $89,260 (2013)

McKenzie County Oil & Gas Discussion Forum

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Major Operators in McKenzie

Burlington Resources is the largest producer in McKenzie County by production volume. Whiting, XTO and Statoil are also major players.

E&P Companies with Operations in McKenzie

  • Abraxas Petroleum
  • Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP
  • Continental Resources, Inc.
  • Enerplus Resources USA Corporation
  • EOG Resources, Inc.
  • Hess Bakken Investments II, LLC
  • HRC Operating, LLC
  • Marathon Oil Company
  • Oasis Petroleum North America, LLC
  • Petro-Hunt, LLC
  • QEP Energy Company
  • Slawson Exploration Company, Inc.
  • SM Energy Company
  • Statoil Oil & Gas LP
  • Triangle USA Petroleum Corporation
  • Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation
  • WPX Energy Williston, LLC
  • XTO Energy Inc.

McKenzie County Pipeline Companies

  • Bakkenlink
  • Belle Fourche
  • Enbridge
  • Four Bears
  • Hess
  • Northern Border
  • Oneok
  • Targa Resources
  • Tesoro
  • WBI Energy