Oil and Gas

North Dakota rigs at 5-year low: Dalrymple

North Dakota Gov.: Lowest rig count since 2010
North Dakota Gov.: Lowest rig count since 2010

Oil's recent plunge has sent shockwaves around the world, especially affecting oil-producing states.

Jack Dalrymple, governor of North Dakota, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday that oil production has been dramatically affected by oil's price plummet. "About three months ago, the number of rigs in North Dakota was 195, today the number of rigs is 158," Dalrymple said. "That's the lowest number of rigs since 2010."

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Dalrymple added that the drop in oil could affect economic activity in the state. "It creates concern in the level of economic activity in our state," he said. "Of course, that impacts sales-tax revenues and income taxes eventually."

The WTI and Brent crude prices have been slashed by about 50 percent each in the past three months, with both reaching six-year lows.

While the fall of oil prices could affect the state's employment numbers in the long term, employment has not been dramatically hurt in the short term. "We had such a backlog of job openings in North Dakota that, so far, employers are having a better chance at filling those jobs," Dalrymple said. "I don't think that's going to change in the short term."

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Dalrymple also said that consumers in North Dakota could benefit a lot from the drop in oil. "Any time a commodity makes a major move like that, there are definitely winners as well as losers," he said. "North Dakota is a big consumer of fuel oil and diesel fuel, and we see a great benefit to a lot of people from that. As people start to realize their money is going further, we would even expect consumption to rise."