WILLISTON, N.D. – Eastern North Dakota residents who want to see firsthand what’s happening in the Bakken can now take a tour guided by a former oil truck driver.
World Class Tours of Wahpeton is offering its first North Dakota oilfield educational tour this June. The business typically does vacation tours, but received a significant number of requests for an oilfield trip, said owner Jake Kubela.
“For the impact that western North Dakota is having on our state as a whole, we’re proud to be able to put this together and show people what it is out there that’s bringing all this money to our state,” Kubela said.
The trip, June 3-5, is catered to community leaders, educators, people interested in doing business in western North Dakota and others who want to learn more about the Bakken. It will include a tour of a crew camp, a visit to a rancher with oil development on his property and several speakers from the industry and local communities.
Kubela, who spent a year working as an oil truck driver in Bowman, will lead the tour and share his insights from working in the industry. Other stops include a rail-loading terminal and an oil-receiving station for a pipeline.
“I’ve hauled into all of these locations,” Kubela said. “I can explain in great detail how the oilfield works.”
Kubela co-owns the tour agency with his wife, Dawn, who is a native of Bowman.
The trip costs $599 for double occupancy and includes all meals and hotel stays in Dickinson and Williston.
The bus leaves from Wahpeton and will stop in Fargo, Valley City and Jamestown. Attendees are already registered from Devils Lake and Grand Forks who plan to drive and meet the bus, Kubela said.
For more information, visit www.wctours.net or call (320) 334-1310. The deadline to register is May 9.
Williston business DAWA Solutions Group offered Bakken tours the past two summers but is not continuing it this year due to a lack of staff resources.
“There’s definitely still interest there,” said business owner Jeff Zarling.
A&B Tours of Minot offers one-day tours of the Bakken, but all seven tours lined up this season are sold out, said owner Kathy Chadwell.
“They sell out before we even advertise them,” Chadwell said.
Most of the motor coach tours are filled with seniors, with some driving from Minnesota or Canada to participate, Chadwell said. This year, she has a bus lined up from Wisconsin for the tour.
North Dakota Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman said her office continues to hear about organized groups that are interested in Bakken tours. Other groups, such as Medora tours, sometimes ask for a guide to give them a brief overview of the oilfield, she said.
“It’s always good to get people out there to see it for themselves,” Otte Coleman said.