A million barrels of oil

TIOGA They represent freedom North Dakota reaching a million barrels of oil a day as the nation moves toward energy independence and the planes that flew in World War II to protect our freedom.

“One Million Barrels, One Million Thanks” will be held on June 25 to celebrate North Dakota reaching the significant milestone of 1 million barrels of crude oil production per day. The celebration will have an air show including a number of World War II planes.

State officials anticipate North Dakota will reach 1 million barrels of oil production when the April production figures are released in mid-June.

Hosted by the North Dakota Petroleum Council and its member companies, the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Neset Consulting Service at the north edge of Tioga. It is free and open to the public. Signs will guide visitors to the site.

Planes including World War II planes of the Texas Flying Legends Museum will present an air show, among the activities being planned that day. The air show is being sponsored by Neset Consulting Service, Minot Aero Center, Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot and the Texas Flying Legends Museum.

According to organizers, the celebration is being held in appreciation of the state and its citizens for their support and patience along the way to the state’s milestone crude oil production.

Pilots that will be in the air show are Warren Pietsch and Doug Bodine, both of Minot, Bernie Vasquez of Vacaville, Calif., Doug Rozendaal of Clear Lake, Iowa, Casey Odegaard of Kindred, Mark Murphy of Amsterdam, N.Y., and Larry Linrud of Velva.

Planes in the air show will include the P-51, Corsair, TBM, P-40 and T-6.

The A6M2 Model 21 Zero, a Japanese fighter plane, the only one of this model still flying in the world, will also be in the show.

“It’s a patriotic program,” said Pietsch, chief pilot and vice president of operations for the Texas Flying Legends Museum, a group based at Houston’s Ellington Field. Each year TFLM planes spend time at the Dakota Territory Air Museum and in Maine.

Pietsch said the millionth barrel of oil production ties in with the military veterans who have kept this country free the oil industry represents people who work hard to have their dreams and the warbirds and veterans fought for freedom.

Bodine said what is happening in North Dakota is not entirely different from the spirit and work ethic necessary on a national scale during World War II to save the world from dictatorial rule. He said this is a core message of the Flying Legends, who operate some of the aircraft that will be flown in the air show.

Plans for the Tioga celebration are for a flyover of the original Bakken well located 2 1/2 miles north of Tioga, said Kathleen Neset of Neset Consulting Service and Bodine. The well is the site where the formation was initially discovered years ago. Neset is overall chairman of the celebration and Bodine is aerial events planner.

Neset said buses will be taking people to the Clarence Iverson No. 1 well and other sites, and there will also be aerial tours for people to see the oil field. The Iverson well was the state’s discovery well on April 4, 1951.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple will be a keynote speaker at the millionth barrel of oil event, as well as other dignitaries.

Other activities will include a community barbecue from the Halliburton barbecue grill that is in a full-sized semi. There will be live music with local bands (the Governor’s Band also has been invited), history of oil in North Dakota presented in a musuem set up in the Conference Room at Neset Consulting Services, and static displays of equipment outside and also of aircraft at the Tioga airport.