Key Industries


McKenzie County is the largest oil and gas producing county in North Dakota, and one of the top two oil producing counties in the United States. Within 30 miles of Watford City there are over 4,500 wells. This is the largest number of wells of any city over 5,000 people in North Dakota. Page through the oil information brochure for more history and details.


McKenzie County has over one million acres of agriculturally zoned land, and has 500,000 acres in National Grasslands. Prominent commodities of this region include beef cattle, honey, spring wheat, canola, barley, soybeans, dry beans and corn.


  • Natural Resources Conservation Service/Soil Conservation District NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
  • NDSU Extension-McKenzie County Through educational programs, publications, and events, extension agents deliver unbiased, research-based information utilizing the expertise of North Dakota State University.
  • NDSU Williston Research Extension Station conducts research to increase agricultural productivity in the semi-arid region for northwestern North Dakota while achieving a necessary balance between profitability and conservation of natural resources.


McKenzie County is in the heart of western North Dakota and a hub for the area’s premier vacation attractions. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the area for the pristine views and hiking experiences of Theodore Roosevelt National Park as well as kayak excursions on the Little Missouri River. McKenzie County also offers history buffs the chance to travel the same territory as some of America’s most legendary figures including Lewis & Clark, Sakakawea, Sitting Bull and Theodore Roosevelt.

The active tourism industry features 800 hotel rooms; 268,000 square foot Rough Rider Center; 100,000 square foot Ag Expo Center, and plenty of restaurants and retail shops offering a variety of unique and impressive opportunities.

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