Stark County, ND and the Bakken Shale Play

Stark County, ND
Stark County, ND

Stark County (1,340 sq. miles) is located in North Dakota and sits atop the Bakken and Three Forks formations. It is one of 16 active oil & gas producing counties in our North Dakota coverage area, but is outside the core area for production.

According to the North Dakota Geological Survey (NDGS), the Ordovician Winnipeg Group is productive along the Heart River anticline in eastern Stark County. The Silurian middle Interlake Formation is also productive in two fields in the county.

Stark didn't have any consistent production until the early 1960s, and it wasn't until the latter part of the 1990s that the county saw a real spike in production. At the onset of the Bakken boom, the county hit its peak total monthly oil production in December, 2012 at 662,069 bbls (21,357 b/d). Today, oil production in Stark County is just slightly higher than that of its western neighbor, Billings County. Stark lies just south of Dunn County, a core producing area.

The largest cities in Stark County include Belfield, Dickinson, Gladstone, Richardton, South Heart, and Taylor. The largest city and the county seat is the city of Dickinson. County services of interest to oil and gas lessees include the Stark County Appraisal District (tax collector) office and the Stark County Clerk (property records) office.

Stark County – Bakken Shale Employment Statistics

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

  • Directly related oil & gas businesses: 527 (2013)
  • Oil & Gas employment: 8,374 people, representing 43% of population (2013)
  • Average wage for oil & gas professionals: $95,429 (2013)

Stark County Oil & Gas Discussion Forum

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Major Operators in Stark

Whiting Oil & Gas Corporation is the largest operator by production volume and number of active wells.

E&P Companies with Operations in Stark

  • Armstrong Operating, Inc.
  • BTA Oil Producers, LLC
  • C12 Energy: North Dakota, LLC
  • ConocoPhillips Company
  • Continental Resources, Inc.
  • Encore Energy Partners Operating LLC
  • Fidelity Exploration & Production Company
  • Hess Bakken Investments II, LLC
  • KRB Enterprise, Inc.
  • Murex Petroleum Corporation
  • New Millennium Resources, Inc.
  • Thunderbird Resources, LP
  • Wesco Operating, Inc.
  • Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation
  • Williston Exploration, LLC

Stark County Pipeline Companies

  • Bakkenlink
  • Belle Fourche
  • Little Missouri
  • Northern Border
  • Plains
  • WBI Energy