Infographic: North Dakota’s Rise To Domestic Oil Royalty

In just three years, North Dakota has established itself as the number four oil producing state in the nation.

Tapping into 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil in North Dakota will be costly to Great Plains water supplies. Projections assert that producing oil and gas from the Bakken Shale formation will use up to 5.5 billion gallons of water annually for more than two decades. At maximum rates of drilling almost 23 million gallons of water will be used every day. Local farmers already worry about supplying water for their irrigation and livestock needs after the Killdeer aquifer measured three feet below its 2000 levels. While the drilling rush provides economic benefits to the state, it could seriously compromise water resources in the long run.

Click through the tabs inside the interactive infographic below to see maps and statistics of the North Dakota oil boom.

Graphic © Daniel Cooper/Ball State University for Circle of Blue

Graphic created by Ball State University graduate student, Daniel Cooper, with data compiled by Circle of Blue’s Keith Schneider and Steve Kellman. Reach them at or contact Keith Schneider directly.

Choke Point:US--Oil Spoils
Water Energy Facts U.S. North Dakota Petroleum Oil Shale Production Choke Point

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