Do your homework before rockin’ the Bakken
Interesting story today in the Rapid City Journal about business opportunities in the oil-rich Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. Ketel Thorstenson LLP has an office in Williston, and we work with a number of new and established companies in this fast-growing region.
As the story recounts, some North Dakota cities have tripled in population as 1,800 new oil wells have come online. In Williston, building permits topped $1 billion. North Dakota’s gross domestic product has increased to $56 billion per year. North Dakota has become the second-largest oil producer in the United States (behind Texas).
The other side of the coin, however, is that all of the things associated with starting and running a business are much more of a challenge in the Williston boom. Real estate is hard to find and expensive, finding good employees is difficult and the cost of housing is extremely high.
However, the same advice we give to any of our clients still applies in the Williston Basin — do your homework. Opportunities are immense, and if you can anticipate as many surprises as possible, it can be immensely rewarding.