“You did that.”

“We need to talk about it more,” said Blu Hulsey, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs at Continental Resources. The accomplishments and technological development of the petroleum industry goes far too much unremarked upon, Hulsey told the audience at the Montana Petroleum Association’s Appreciation Luncheon at the DoubleTree in Billings, on August 28.

The technology that has been developed within the industry “is equal to the technology of putting people on the moon,” he said,

Continental Resources is one of the largest oil producers in the Bakken.

“We are the greatest oil country in the world,” Hulsey unequivocally stated at one point.

The accomplishments of the industry “has changed the world,” said Hulsey, pointing to the recent antics of Iran capturing oil tankers and threatening other countries militarily “…and the price of gas in Billings doesn’t go up a penny,” he exclaimed. In the past, with the US dependent upon the Middle East for oil, any kind of incident like those recently witnessed, would have caused oil prices to sky rocket, but not anymore.

“You did that,” he told the room packed with representatives of all aspects of the petroleum industry. The US petroleum industry is now the world’s largest producer of oil and an exporter of oil and gas to the rest of the world.

As the cost of production continues to decline because of the new technology, and the level of production continues to increase there will continue to be a lot of changes to the world and to the industry itself.

The industry is changing how it looks at itself. “Everyone is looking internally,” he said about petroleum businesses.

You don’t need 150 rigs in the Bakken, 60 will produce just as much, now.

Returns that were projected on $70 per barrel oil prices are now being experienced with $50 per barrel oil prices. 

“We have almost doubled production in four years because of technology,” said Hulsey.

At one point it was impressive that there were 12 wells in the Bakken that hit 100,000 barrels of production in the first 90 days. Now there are 157 wells that hit that level of production in 90 days, and more and more continue to hit that goal.

“You are going to see long-term growth in the Bakken,” predicted Hulsey, “and we are going to continue to get more recovery.”

Investors are not being apprised of this reality as much as they should be, Hulsey lamented.

Hulsey praised the people in the industry. When the industry encounters barriers, “our people get better – American ingenuity is making a difference.”

Hulsey talked about the Bakken as a world class resource, saying that 150 miles wide and 150 miles long, it is comparable to the Permian Basin, which while impressive and larger doesn’t have the same quality of oil. There is more water in the Permian oil. Having considerably less water reduces production costs in the Bakken. Efficiencies being achieved in the Bakken are not necessarily found in every oil field – many won’t be found in the Permian.

The Bakken will eventually produce 30 to 40 billion barrels of oil.

Hulsey lauded the Trump administration. “We have an administration that is not stopping us from doing long-term development…that means big improvements for the long term.”