North Dakota grants more support to oil, gas counties

BISMARCK, N.D., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said grants of nearly $10 million for state oil- and gas-producing counties will help the education system cope with expansion.

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


The funds target K-12 schools and higher education in expanding parts of the state.

Oil and natural gas production from the Bakken and Three Forks shale areas in western North Dakota are providing substantial stimulus to the state economy.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission said oil production in October, the last full month for which data are available, was 941,637 barrels per day, an all-time high for the state.

Last year, gross domestic product per capita in North Dakota was $55,250, a figure 29 percent higher than the national average. In 2001, state GDP was ranked 38th out of 50 states.

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


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