ST. CLOUD - Oil is a multi-billion dollar business, and it's growing rapidly just to the west of us.

The River's Edge Convention Center played host to a talk on the economic and employment impact of oil drilling in North Dakota on Thursday.

Lonnie Laffen is an architect and a North Dakota State Senator who sits on the energy development committee.

He says the state is on course to drill 40,000 more oil wells within the next 30 years - and in order to accomplish this, they'll need to recruit workers from neighboring states and cities like St. Cloud.

Laffen says the low sulfur, shale-based oil in the Bakken area of western North Dakota is considered some of the best in the world right now.  Each well will have an estimated 45 year life and produce roughly 160 billion dollars in profits apiece.

Laffen says this will have an untold impact on every sector of the state's business.

North Dakota recently edged out Alaska and California, and is second only to Texas, in oil production.