I can't believe I missed this one last week. Brigham Exploration, the company mentioned in the New Yorker article last spring, and one of the early players in the Bakken (and I mean players; these guys bet the house) just sold to Norway's sovereign oil company Statoil for $4.4 billion. Here's the article. The article's concluding paragraph is noteworthy:
"Expectations are that North Dakota will move ahead of Alaska and California in annual oil production. That would put North Dakota behind only Texas...The sale of Brigham Exploration suggests the state's entering a new phase in the development of its petroleum resources, a shift from high-risk exploration and speculation to sustained long-term production."