There have been some reports that the “Bakken Boom” occurring near Williston, North Dakota, could rival the oil production in Alaska. Some are wondering whether or not a similar boom could happen in Northeastern Wyoming. The explosive growth of the petroleum industry in North Dakota has pushed the infrastructure to the limit, and some of its citizens as well. It is estimated that 84 oil companies are now at work on oil fields in the state. Could the same happen in the Powder River Basin?
Ken Collier, a Professional Geologist at WWC Engineering in Sheridan doesn't think so, any time soon at least...
Although Gillette would likely experience the same growth as Williston, Collier says the likelihood of an oil boom directly affecting Sheridan or Buffalo is less.
Collier says the geology is similar between the Powder River Basin and the Bakken area, in terms of shale rock. The technology allowing for oil exploration, "fracking," is occurring in various locations around the Rocky Mountain West, including here in Wyoming near Pinedale. Collier adds that fracking has been around for over 50 years, however today, he says, it is a totally different animal. Fracking alone is driving this oil boom in western North Dakota and Eastern Montana, he says.