ND Gov: Oil Boom Just Beginning

Things are looking pretty good for the state of North Dakota these days. The oil business is booming thanks to the Bakken shale and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. And that’s only the beginning, Gov. Jack Dalrymple told Cramer Wednesday.

Not only are there jobs available, but the oil boom is its early stages.

“We’ve probably exploited 15 percent of the play at this point,” Dalrymple told Cramer. “It’s going to be many, many years, probably 20 years of very healthy development.”

The governor sat down with Cramer during the “Mad Money” host’s visit to the Bakken. Thanks to the shale, the state is the fourth largest oil producer in the country. But Dalrymple said North Dakota’s success was about more than just getting “lucky” in oil.

“We’ve got 31,000 jobs available in North Dakota,” he said, adding that many of those jobs are based in advanced manufacturing, technology, tourism and agriculture.

But with those new jobs and new people heading into the state, as well as the development of the Bakken, Dalrymple said the challenge is keeping up with the changes. That’s why, he said, the state has put money into highways, and given money to counties and townships to help them with their infrastructure. There is also a grant program that goes directly to cities so they can develop housing.

“It’s part of state’s responsibility to stay ahead of the development,” Dalrymple said. “If you don’t, then the whole thing comes crashing down.”

But with job opportunities abounding and new people moving into the state every day, Dalrymple said things are going well.

“This energy play is producing a lot of oil and gas,” he said. “We feel like we’re really helping the nation.”

So what’s his advice for other states who may want to emulate North Dakota’s success?

First, focus on job creation. “Let everything fall into place behind that,” the governor said.

Second, take care of your state budget and don’t let it get out of hand. And third, stay out of people’s way and try to run government so that it helps people instead of causing them problems.

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