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Oil Activity Slowly Increases


Although oil isn’t booming in eastern Montana, activity is steadily increasing in the Treasure State.

“We’re still seeing a lot of interest,” Alan Olson, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association, said.

Recently, legal notices appeared regarding intention by Prima Exploration to apply for a permit to drill an oil and gas well in Roosevelt County.

On April 19, Kraken Operating has six permits approved for Richland County.

“Oil prices are edging their way up,” Olson said. “I will expect oil activity to continue to increase.”

Although the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline by President Biden has been very negative for the oil and gas industry, Olson said the primary reason for the decrease of oil activity in Eastern Montana is too low oil prices.

After prices sank to below zero at one point a year ago, prices have been greatly improving. In April 2020, the Central Montana Crude price was $9.80 a barrel. The Central Montana Crude price was $55.85 a barrel last week.

“If you can get up to $65 Montana price, we will definitely see more activity,” Olson said. “But it would need to hang steady there.”

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