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U.S. Oil Counties Saw Population Jump Over The Past Decade

The oil boom over the past decade, which made America the world’s top crude oil producer, made a small rural county in North Dakota the fastest-growing county in population between 2010 and 2020, U.S. Census Bureau data showed.

North Dakota’s McKenzie County was the fastest-growing county in America in the past decade, according to the decennial U.S. census, as carried by the Associated Press.  

The Bakken boom, which began early in the 2010s, contributed a lot to the fastest-growing county in America.

The numbein r of residents in McKenzie County more than doubled over the past decade, jumping from 6,360 residents in 2010 to 14,704 residents 2020, according to the U.S. census.

The growth was “whopping,” Census Bureau demographer Marc Perry said during a press conference, as quoted by the AP. Williams County, also in North Dakota, registered an 83-percent surge in the number of its residents over the past decade, to 40,950 people in 2020.

Several counties in west Texas and east New Mexico—home of the top-producing U.S. shale basin, the Permian—also saw large growth in population between 2010 and 2020, the census showed.

U.S. oil production has started to recover from last year’s market crash that led to many curtailments, deferred drilling programs, and prioritization of debt and shareholder repayment to production growth.

Total U.S. crude output is nowhere near the 13 million barrels per day (bpd) just before the crash in March 2020, but North Dakota has seen flat production recently, due to a shortage of workers, Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, told the Bismarck Tribune last month.

“It’s going to take higher pay and housing incentives and that sort of thing to get them here,” Helms said, noting that many workers had moved to Texas.

Meanwhile, the Midland basin in Texas produced an average of 1.68 million bpd of crude oil last year, accounting for 15 percent of all crude output in America, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said earlier this week, citing data from Enverus. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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