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Innovation Will Lead North Dakota to Become the Nation’s First Carbon-Neutral State

We are witnessing the next energy boom! Simultaneously, North Dakota leads the nation via a major increase of deal flow that will increase oil and gas production, improve the bottom lines for farmers and attract tens of billions of dollars in direct investment. Carbon neutrality will be accomplished via innovation and not regulation, and companies across the state, up and down the supply chain vertical are contributing to this boom.

A Carbon Sink

Put simply, North Dakota hit the geologic jackpot! In effect, several thousand feet beneath where many of us stand, multiple formations will enable our state to store and add value to carbon captured and sent from other states. North Dakota will produce greener oil through enhanced recovery using carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from industrial sources throughout the region. This in turn will maintain and generate well-paying jobs, create a smaller carbon footprint for the state, reduce industrial CO2 to the atmosphere, accelerate economic development and incentivize industry to invest in smarter and cleaner oil production.

The Benefits To Oil

Many of the state’s oil fields are declining in terms of production. When the market is ready, enhanced oil recovery will use carbon to revitalize the declining oil fields and improve production counts resulting in more competitive Bakken oil. These oil reservoirs can then hold the carbon while producing cleaner oil through increased flows via the injected CO2.

New Opportunities For Gas

New and increased oil production will come with increased gas emissions. North Dakota can do four things with the gas: use it to continue to enhance oil recovery, permanently store it thereby reducing emissions into the atmosphere, capture and liquefy it or capture it and add value to it. All four of these options create major economic opportunities for the state. For one, increased oil production pays for new infrastructure in the state as well as operating funds for government programs; two, new oil production maintains and creates more well-paying jobs; and three, North Dakota sets up the next generation with new opportunities.

Regarding the opportunities associated with this impact, North Dakota is currently engaged in over $13 billion in clean energy projects at the time of this writing. This is four times as high as where we were in May 2021. By educating the nation and the world on these opportunities, major investment firms and project developers are rapidly engaged in growing North Dakota’s economy. This includes but is not limited to major offtake agreements for future use of North Dakotan energy, the creation of a value-added industry where secondary and tertiary sectors are established, and new money flowing through the state.

The Hydrogen Hub

Recently, Mitsubishi Electric and Bakken Energy made a huge bet on the future of the global economy by announcing the nation’s first blue hydrogen hub. This multi-billion dollar project will lead to major job and wealth creation coupled with the potential for new industries such as fertilizer and synthetic fuel manufacturing by using existing infrastructure, the abundance of natural gas that is produced, and our unique geologic formations. A whole new supply chain vertical and energy sector will be right here in central North Dakota!

Growth In Agriculture

Simultaneous with fossil fuel and hydrogen growth, increased demand for clean fuels in California has resulted in major investment decisions by Marathon Oil and Arthur Daniels Midland. These two projects, accounting for over $1 billion in investment, will use 35-40 percent of the state’s soybeans resulting in a higher basis for North Dakotan farmers. We are seeing similar growth for corn and other commodities that will support clean fuels to include aviation grade production!

Accelerated Investment

The nation and globe are catching on to North Dakota’s abundance of opportunity through aggressive marketing campaigns that focus on our state’s geology and business-friendly environment. North Dakota’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 using innovation is becoming an accelerated reality with rapidly increasing capital formation!

As the nation’s leader, several other energyproducing states and nations have caught on thereby helping us innovate our way through the next energy boom!

James Leiman

JAMES LEIMAN, PH.D., – Current Commerce Commissioner, spent over a decade fighting terrorism before deciding to focus his efforts on domestic issues in his most recent position as the Department of Commerce’s director of Economic Development and Finance, Leiman was involved in statewide economic development and finance initiatives.

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