By GARY JACOBSON

Staff Writer

Published: 08 June 2013 07:13 PM

WILLISTON, N.D. — From the beginning, Dallas and Texas companies have been involved in North Dakota oil.

Dallas wildcatter Mayer B. “Duke” Rudman hit one of the early successful wells soon after oil was discovered in the Williston Basin in 1951, helping make him a major independent.

“You can say it took me out of the jerk class,” Rudman told The New York Times in 1987.

Within a year of the initial discovery, H.L. Hunt’s company, Hunt Oil, and the Texas Co., whose roots trace back to Spindletop near Beaumont in 1901, opened offices in Williston, according to The Wonder of Williams, a history of Williams County, where Williston is located. The Texas Co., of course, later became Texaco.

Hunt died in 1974, Rudman in 2008.

Texas and Dallas connections continue to the present. Oil service stalwarts Halliburton and Baker Hughes, both of Houston, are active in the basin, as is Fort Worth-based Weir SPM, which makes pressure pumps used in hydraulic fracturing.

Through the end of 2012, Denbury Onshore LLC, based in Plano, was listed as the third-largest oil producer in the 60-plus-year history of the industry in the state, according to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Denbury sold its Bakken Shale interests to Irving-based Exxon Mobil last year for about $1.6 billion and acquired other assets in North Dakota and Montana.

Other top lifetime producers in North Dakota included Petro-Hunt of Dallas, Burlington Resources of Houston, EOG Resources of Houston, Enduro Operating of Fort Worth, XTO Energy (owned by Exxon) of Fort Worth and Brigham Oil & Gas of Austin, recently purchased by Statoil, the largely Norwegian state-owned oil company.

Petro-Hunt is owned by the family of Herbert Hunt, a son of H.L

 


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