A little math reveals that North Dakota produces about 10 barrels of oil per second. Within three or four years, that will double. That is a river of oil!
Each train of oil that rolls through Fargo represents about 60,000 barrels of oil. North Dakota produces a trainload every two hours. Some of that goes through pipelines, of course, but it is helpful to visualize what is going on out there.
To continue the flow, there has to be continual drilling, as wells decline quickly before leveling off for the long-term. To double the flow, which is in the cards, there must be more than double the drilling. That means there will be ever more people, ever more money, ever more problems of growth.
Right now, the Bakken formation provides the bulk of the oil. There are other formations above and below the Bakken. The only one formation exploited so far other than the Bakken is the Three Forks. It is in its infancy. It is probable that the Three Forks has more oil than the Bakken. There are other formations which are completely untapped, perhaps as many as four.
Each month, the technology for getting oil out of the Bakken formation improves. Wells become cheaper to drill, and they produce more. When the Bakken dries up, which is not going to happen soon, they will move on to figure out other formations. A ten-year Bakken well might be reworked to get oil out of other formations.
If anybody thinks the North Dakota oil boom is going to be short-lived, they are mistaken. It is going to grow and grow and grow.
You can debate the effects of the boom, but it is here to stay.