If there was any doubt that the Bakken Shale is one of the hottest spots in the oil and gas industry right now, all one has to do is take a look at the rush of companies still flowing into the region. These companies not only bring their existing knowledge and expertise to the area, but also new technology, new infrastructure and new competition. All these elements add up to a marketplace that should remain healthy and highly competitive for a long time to come. 

The following special section highlights a number of the companies that have made big moves into the Bakken Shale region in recent years. Whether they bring with them new methods, new facilities or new ways of looking at the industry, there’s little doubt they are contributing to making the Bakken Shale one of the top places to be in the industry. 

For example, NorthStar Midstream is making waves with its plans to build a major rail terminal in East Fairview, N.D., to provide crude oil transportation services. The first phase of the project opened late last year, and the second phase is expected to move a lot of crude once it comes online in May. CEO Jon Hempel says the terminal is expected to become the largest in the Bakken Shale, and will process 120,000 barrels of crude oil a day. “We’re very well suited for the basin’s logistics,” Hempel says. 

Pioneer Energy entered the Bakken Shale with an innovative new technology aimed at capturing fossil fuel resources that had been underutilized before. The company’s Mobile Alkane Gas Separator (MAGS) was first deployed in the Bakken last year and more units are under development. As founder Robert Zubrin explains, the MAGS processes flare gas into three usable commodity streams. “Things are going pretty good,” he says. “Our first unit is up and running at the site of one of the top oil companies in the Bakken. It has proven to be very robust and successful. It is making it through the North Dakota winter with flying colors.”

Blac-Frac Tanks Inc. already found success outside the Williston Basin as a provider of tank rentals and related services, but the company’s recent move into the region has been a resounding success. The company opened a new shop in North Dakota, and Operations Manager Ron Rogacki III says it has been a boon to its customers in the region. 

The untapped resources have made the Bakken Shale a hot place to be for oil and gas companies, but the impact these and other companies are making there are making it a place to stay. 

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