By Mary Helm 

Dakota Datebook: Oil and Drinking Water


July 29, 2019


July 31, 2019 — It was on this date in 1955 that the state’s monthly oil production topped the one million barrel mark for the first time, when 1,000,154 barrels were produced in July of that year.

It was in 1916 that the Pioneer Oil and Gas Company began drilling the state’s first wildcat well southeast of Williston. It turned up dry, but that didn’t stop the many attempts that followed it. All told, it took 45 years for dry holes to turn into gushers. The Amerada Petroleum Corporation finally discovered oil near Tioga in April 1951. The well was named “Clarence Iverson Numbe...

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