Video Watch: 1953 Documentary About Oil in North Dakota and Montana
Thursday, March 31, 2011

In 1953, two short films were released about the Williston Basin, 10,000 square miles of prairie in Montana and North Dakota.  The film says that a few years after World War II, petroleum companies got the idea of drilling there. Within a few weeks, representatives of six companies offered to lease the mineral rights of a couple's farm: 10 cents an acre per year for ten years, plus one-eighth of any oil revenues. They signed, but it's a year before any wells are drilled - the first one goes in at a cost of $500,000. Will they hit oil and turn the area into the frontier again? Everyone has dreams of what to do with the money.