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Unit 7: Set 1. Oil Development - Activity

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Analyzing Statistics

You have two charts with data on them. Looking at Chart 1 Number of Oil Rigs Drilling 1978 – 1989, you can see rows and lines of numbers. These numbers have little meaning unless they are examined carefully. The following exercises will help you find the meaning in the raw numerical data presented here.

  1. oil stats chart 1Starting with January 1978, place each number on a long graph with monthly figures ending in October 1989. One axis of your graph will have months/years. The other axis will be numbers of oil rigs in production.
  1. Add up the numbers of oil rigs in operation for each year (add across the line) and divide by 12 to find the average number (in 1989 divide by 10). Create a graph using each of your average figures. One axis should be the year, the other axis the average number of rigs.
  1. oil stats chart 2Using the three pages of Chart 2: North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing counties Oil Production (1951 – 1989). There are four pages to this chart which represent the beginning, peak, and the last recorded production for this time period. Determine which county had the highest production in each year in the chart. Determine which year was the peak year.
  1. How do the production figures relate to the number of rigs? Can you do some research to find out why production begins to decline?
  1. What happens to towns and counties when oil production booms? What happens when production declines? Consider social, political, and economic aspects of both boom and decline.

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