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Kummer finds opportunity & family ties in Watford City

Jeff Kummer and wife, Valerie with their sons Blake (3) and Christian (1)

Kummer finds opportunity & family ties in Watford City

Ten years ago if you told Jeff Kummer that he would be in the middle of a successful career, married to his high school sweetheart and raising two young boys in his hometown, he wouldn’t have believed you. 

Now, the 2001 graduate of Watford City High School who has always had an ambition and drive for success has found himself in the middle of what he calls, “endless career opportunity,” thanks in part to his decision to pursue a degree in petroleum engineering during a time when the Bakken had yet to become an internationally known phenomenon. 

“(After graduation) no one was pushing me toward petroleum engineering,” said Kummer.  But with a family history in the oil and gas industry, Kummer was familiar with the opportunities that such a career could provide for his future.

And Kummer took full advantage of those opportunities, beginning his education at the University of North Dakota and completing his degree in 2006 at the Colorado School of Mines. But Kummer’s education wasn’t all books and numbers. Understanding the importance of hands-on industry experience, Kummer put himself out there, working one summer as a roughneck on an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico and then moving into engineering internships that eventually helped him land his first professional job with Encana as a drilling engineer in the Jonah Field in southwest Wyoming.

In 2008 when drilling activity picked up in the Parshall area, Kummer recognized the potential and was quick to make contact with EOG Resources out of Stanley. Excited at the prospect of getting back to Western North Dakota to start his family, Kummer thrived in his position as an operations engineer working out of EOG’s  Stanley office.  

Nearly one year ago, while he and his wife, Valerie (Norbeck) were living in Minot and raising their children, Blake, now 3 years old, and Christian, now 1, Kummer was contacted by Jim Arthaud with the opportunity to move his family back to Watford City to manage MBI Oil and Gas.

Kummer has been with the small growing oil and gas company for a little over a year and has found that, just like the company, his position is constantly evolving and growing. Within a year Kummer was challenged with adding the title of Vice President of Operations for MBI Energy Services, formally Missouri Basin Well Services.  

With operations in North Dakota, Montana, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas, Kummer’s main goal is to help MBI Energy Services grow successfully to a national presence. 

It’s a big job for a man who is not quite thirty years old, but Kummer couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity to work for a company that is so invested in his hometown community. 

The best part of his job? 

“Working for good people with local ties that care about the community and their employees,” Kummer says. 

Kummer is indeed fully invested in his career, but like the company he works for, he believes in giving back. A member of the McKenzie County Roads Task force and an advisor for the UND Petroleum Engineer Advisory board, Kummer helps to make important decisions that affect the future of his industry.  
But he may be having the most fun on the ice where this former high school hockey player is coaching members of the Watford City “Termites” team, his son Blake included, on the fundamentals of his favorite sport. 

“Val and I came back home to raise our family, it’s what we wanted to do,” said Kummer. “When I was in Colorado I came to appreciate where I was raised and the experiences and life lessons I had. We wanted our kids to have the same things.” 

So perhaps Jeff Kummer wouldn’t have believed you ten years ago if you told him he would be back in his hometown, thriving in his chosen field and living a life surrounded by family and full of opportunity… But he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Hometown stories from the oil field brought to you by: 
Watford City EDC and McKenzie County JDA

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