BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State Industrial Commission records show North Dakota pumped a record 113 million barrels of oil in 2010, smashing the previous high set a year earlier by 33 million barrels.
The state set production records almost monthly in 2010, jumping from an average of 236,200 barrels daily in January to nearly 343,900 in December.
State documents show a record 356,505 barrels was pumped daily in November, with nearly 10.7 million barrels produced for the month.
One year ago, North Dakota had an average daily drill rig count of 94. The state Industrial Commission says 169 rigs were drilling Monday.
This is an energy success story, and the economic impact of it is palpable in North Dakota where the state’s biggest problems are finding enough people to fill available jobs, maintaining infrastructure in the face of explosive growth and making sure the state’s politicians don’t fritter away windfall tax revenues on unnecessary growth in government.
It’s become cliche to say that the nation should emulate the North Dakota model for prosperity. North Dakota has actually been worse on spending than the national growth, with the state budget since 2003 growing faster than the national budget, and our “model” has essentially been “don’t mess around with oil.”
But there is a lesson here for national leaders, and that lesson is what can happen when you unshackle the energy sector from unnecessary taxation and regulation it will create prosperity. Which, frankly, is true of any sort of business.
Limited government means more prosperity.