Shale plays like North Dakota's Bakken formation have led to a revolution in the U.S. Oil & Gas Industry. As this FuelFix piece discusses, unlike previous "booms," shale plays across the U.S. are dominated by independent producers as opposed to the "Seven Sisters", or the industry's majors like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and BP.
Over the past few years, natural gas production across the U.S. has skyrocketed. However, most of this production has come from privately-owned lands rather than public.
North Dakota's McKenzie and Mountrail Counties are among the top ten oil producing areas in the United States. As this Drilling Info piece illustrates, half of the oil production in the U.S. comes from twenty counties and the Gulf of Mexico. If you only consider onshore plays, North Dakota's four major oil producing counties of McKenzie, Mountrail, Dunn and Williams dominate the top ten.