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North Dakota sends financial relief to oil, gas areas

Nov. 14, 2013 at 8:21 AM

BISMARCK, N.D., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said $12.2 million in funds were awarded to emergency services and fire districts in oil and gas producing parts of the state.

"These grants are an important part of a larger state commitment to help the oil and gas region meet the challenges created by rapid growth," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks shale reserve areas in western North Dakota are providing substantial stimulus to its economy. The federal government said the state's gross domestic product in 2001 ranked 38th out of the 50 states. By 2012, the GDP per capita of $55,250 was 29 percent greater than the national average.

North Dakota's government said it committed approximately $2.6 billion to help support growth in the state's oil and gas producing regions through 2015.

Funds for emergency services were allocated through the so-called energy impact grant by the state Land Board, of which Dalrymple is the chairman.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates parts of North Dakota may contain as much as 7.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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