(Bismarck, ND) -- An state mineral expert says North Dakota's oil and gas production is "back to work" following an April slump earlier this year.
Lynn Helms is North Dakota's Director of Mineral Resources. He joined AM1100 The Flag's What's On Your Mind Program to speak about the successes the industry is saw in June.
"Full recovery from the April problems, "said Helms, speaking in reference to a spring blizard which heavily impacted western North Dakotan infrastructure, including the state's oil and gas industry, "We got back to just under 1.1 million barrels per day, that's a 3 1/2 percent increase. Gas production was way up - 9.7 percent... A lot of people getting back to work."
Helms says the oil and gas industry's most difficult task they are facing now is finding employees in the state. The Director says employers are trying to attract workers from New Mexico, Texas, and other states to work in the state and are seeing mixed results. An issue he says, in the long term, can be solved through career and technical schools.
"We are beginning the process of training our own workforce here in North Dakota, "said Helms, "We've got the Career and Tech education off the ground, and we really anticipate that within a year or two we will be growing our own workforce of native North Dakotans."
However, until that workforce builds, Helms says the state will need to continue "beating the bushes" to find employees.