UND has started a unique partnership with a Norwegian University that could help solve the social problems surrounding the western North Dakota oil boom.
Today, UND signed an agreement with the University of Bergen to exchange students, faculty and research.
The western North Dakota oil boom means big money for the State and people, who own oil leases. But, it's also created a lot of social problems for the people who live there… problems with all kinds of infrastructure, including roads, housing and medical services.
Paul Davidson, University of Bergen, Norway: "How to not only have people come here as workers, temporary workers and then leave the States. But, perhaps, creating communities that are sustainable for the future."
Today's agreement with the University of Bergen will unite UND's expertise in developing oil production with the University of Bergen's expertise in solving the social problems that go along with exploding industry in western North Dakota.
Scott Johnson, UND Energy Studies: "Social scientists and engineers can work together and they can develop an integrated view of a problem."
Steve Benson, UND Energy Studies: "We look at economics, the cost of technology and then we look at the environmental implications and social issues."
The overall idea is to develop planning that takes into consideration all aspects of developing the oil industry.
Hesham El-Rewini, UND Engineering and Mines: "I think exposing our faculty and students to global issues by the exchange programs we're going to have… I think is a major plus… in addition to dealing with our issues here at home."
It's hoped this partnership will eventually come up with an overall plan for not only the development of western North Dakota oil, but the a plan that takes into consideration the people who live there as well.