GREAT FALLS — The number of drilling applications submitted to federal land managers in western North Dakota has grown so large that Bureau of Land Management officials in other states have been asked to shoulder some of the load.
BLM employees in Great Falls are reviewing permits, verifying royalty amounts and working on mineral estate agreements to help their North Dakota colleagues dealing with the Bakken oil boom.
The Great Falls Tribune reports the Dickinson BLM office is projected to review more than 800 applications this year.
BLM Montana head Don Judice says the North Dakota office is unable to get the staff they need quickly due to budget concerns and recruitment efforts.
Twenty-six BLM staffers from Montana, two from South Dakota and one from Utah are assisting the 27 Dickinson staffers.
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