Black Hills business owners invest in the oil boom - KOTA Territory News

Black Hills business owners invest in the oil boom

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Drive five hours north of the Black Hills and you could hit it rich in the state that's currently sitting on 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

But getting to it requires more resources than North Dakota alone can muster. Now, business owners in the Black Hills are learning how to position themselves to get a piece of the action.

A new building for Bolt construction in Rapid City means new hopes for the future- aimed at expansion.

"You hear all these rumors, 'oh there's trucks everywhere, there's only one stop light and it never turns red, there's semi's everywhere, there's all sorts of money to be made'," said Lyndon Bolt, owner of Bolt construction.

Bolt knows his services are needed up north as relentless expansion spurs demand in all directions in the Bakken oil fields.

"I think there's a need for housing everywhere up there, as well as other infrastructure, gas stations, Walmarts, and stuff. Lot of people going up there and they need some amenities," said Bolt.

"There's 10,000 to 13,000 jobs available in the state today, but there's no place to stay," said Ed Schafer, former North Dakota Governor and keynote speaker at the Opportunities in the Bakken & West River Expansion Summit.

Schafer says, you don't have to go north to get involved.

"The companies that supply labor and materials to the oil companies are pushing out to the broader communities. And saying 'I can go into a place where the rent might be less expensive, the labor might be less expensive'," said Schafer.

Hefty investments from oil companies are giving many business owners the confidence to think long-term.

"Over the next year or two it'd be nice to go up and do, you know ten to twenty million worth of development," said Bolt.

Bolt says he and many others are simply in the right place, at the right time.

"There's people coming here from California and New York and we're right here next door. I think this is kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Bolt.

Fueled by the oil boom, industrial manufacturer WLl plastics recently opened a $13 million dollar pipe making factory in Rapid City.

 

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