(Photo courtesy of State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection)

April marks 65 years since North Dakota first became an oil producing state. Although there have been ups and downs, the industry continues today and is among the top oil producers in the world.  And it all started with the Clarence Iverson #1.

According to Clarence Herz, legend had it that when a landman approached a North Dakota wheat farmer about leasing his mineral rights for oil exploration he said he’d be glad to sign a lease and quipped, “I’ll drink all the oil you get in North Dakota.”

Herz continues:
On April 4th, 1951, North Dakota, after unsuccessfully exploring for 34 years, became the 27th state to produce petroleum.  The discovery well, Amerada Petroleum’s Clarence Iverson #1, produced nearly 250 barrels of oil per day.  It was North Dakota’s only producing well in 1951, as the other 9 attempts, all outside of the Williston Basin, were dry holes. The other nine wells, none of which were drilled by Amerada, were in Cavalier (4), Grand Forks, Morton, Pembina, Pierce, and Stutsman counties.

Click here to continue reading the history of North Dakota’s first well.



KLJ, a multi-disciplinary engineering and planning firm, is proud to announce that the company has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 500 Design Firms by Engineering News Record (ENR). “This is an outstanding achievement for KLJ and evidence that we are positioned well strategically and have a great team who will continue to lead us to future successes,” said Chief Executive Officer Niles Hushka.

The Top 500 Design Firms list, published annually in April, ranks the 500 largest U.S. based designs firms, both publicly and privately held, based on design-specific revenue. Companies engaged in general contracting specialty contracting, engineering, architecture, planning and studies are ranked through an annual survey. The rankings are then divided into specific market categories

KLJ was ranked 16th in the Nation for telecommunications, as the 76th largest designer in the United States and as the 110th largest firm in the United States. The rankings established KLJ as the highest ranked firm that originated in the region.

“The accomplishment is a great way to begin our 75 year anniversary. We have taken calculated risks which have proven to be successful and we will continue to be a leader in the industry” said Hushka.

Since 1938, KLJ has provided multi-disciplinary engineering-based solutions for national, large-scale operations, with the local expertise to drive projects forward and deliver successful results. As an employee-owned firm with a focus on innovation and hard work, we help clients succeed by developing lasting infrastructure that responds to the social, civic and economic needs of our communities. KLJ currently has 18 office locations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming. For more information about KLJ, visit www.kljeng.com.