Plunging oil prices blow a $4B hole in North Dakota's state budget


The plunge in oil prices has blown a $4 billion hole in North Dakota's budget in the space of just a month.

Lawmakers have accepted a revised forecast that projects the state will collect $4 billion less in oil and gas tax revenue between 2015 and 2017 compared to a forecast in December, the Fargo Forum reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of a barrel of oil dropped below $44 in same-day trading for the first time since 2009 Thursday, and these plummeting prices are taking a toll on rigs in the Bakken oil patch.

The Fargo Forum says the assumptions were based on discussions with the state tax department and oil and gas industry officials. The new forecast projects tax revenues will be down $4.05 billion in the 2015 to 2017 cycle.

The new figures reflect the lower oil prices and anticipate that a number of oil rigs will suspend operations, the Star Tribune reports.

The report assumes there will be 53 fewer oil wells in production each month, 135 compared to 188 operating last year, and total oil royalties lost, which include income taxes collected from workers, will total $4.9 billion.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple's budget plan in December was based on a price of between $74 and $82 a barrel between 2015 and 2017, the Washington Times reports. The new forecast is based on prices of between $45 and $65 a barrel.

A final revenue forecast will be presented in mid-March. That will be used to formulate the 2015-2017 state budget.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner told the Washington Times the state’s economy remains healthy and oil production is forecast to remain steady despite sagging prices.

Next Up

Taylor Rogers

Twins Rumors: Taylor Rogers could draw interest despite injury

The left-hander was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.


Severe storm watch: Apple-sized hail, 75 mph winds possible

A watch has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.