Delta Launches Service From MSP to Oil-Rich Area of ND

The area surrounding the Bakken rock formation has seen a spike in oil production in recent years, bringing both job seekers and businesses to the area—including some with local ties.

Several Minnesota companies have already begun to capitalize on the oil and gas boom in North Dakota.
 
Soon, Delta Air Lines—the largest carrier at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)—will launch two flights from MSP to Dickinson, North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport.
 
Dickinson is located in the southwest portion of the state and within the area surrounding the Bakken rock formation, which runs under the western part of North Dakota and into Montana. The area has seen a spike in oil production in recent years, bringing both job seekers and businesses to the area. Last year, Delta launched service between MSP and Williston, a city in northwest North Dakota where the Bakken oil reserves were first discovered.
 
Starting June 10, Delta flights will depart MSP at 10:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and each one will arrive in Dickinson about 45 minutes later. Meanwhile, Delta will also have flights departing from Dickinson at 7:45 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. daily—each arriving at MSP about 35 minutes later. The new service will be operated by SkyWest Airlines using 50-seat regional jets.
 
“Delta’s commitment to providing two daily flights between Dickinson and Minneapolis-St. Paul will help us meet the transportation needs of this growing region of North Dakota,” North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said in a statement. “Boardings at Dickinson’s Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport have risen significantly and this expanded jet service will enhance the region’s access to the nation and world.”
 
Last year, a couple of Minnesota companies announced plans to establish or expand their presence in western North Dakota.
 
In late July, St. Cloud-based grocery retailer Coborn’s, Inc., announced plans to build five new stores in the area, all of which will be completed by 2014. The new stores will significantly boost the company’s presence in North Dakota, where it currently operates six grocery stores—including three in the oil-rich area surrounding the Bakken rock formation. One of the new stores will be in Dickinson.
 
Then in September, Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings announced its own plans to establish a presence in the region with its first location in the city of Williston. The restaurant, a franchised location owned and operated by Minot, North Dakota-based Wings of Minot, LLC, was expected to open this month. The Williston location is Buffalo Wild Wings’ seventh in the state but first in the Bakken region.
 
Meanwhile, Wayzata-based Northern Oil and Gas—an oil and natural gas exploration and production company—drills primarily in the oil-rich area surrounding the Bakken and Three Forks rock formations. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years; its revenue totaled $149.3 million in 2011—up 235 percent from the previous year, and it will report 2012 results on Thursday.
 
Atlanta-based Delta, which serves more than 160 million customers each year, flies nonstop from MSP to 131 destinations, including 22 international destinations.