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XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has added 20 jobs to its Williston Field Office. These moves came with the closure of their metro Denver office on Sept. 1, 2017. The closure was part of a larger effort to move employees closer to the field. Williston’s newest residents are high level employees involved with XTO’s Bakken operations.

Matthew Deveau, operations manager, was the first Denver- based senior company representative to make the move to Williston. He paved the way for the others by overseeing the office build-out and getting acclimated to living in western North Dakota. He said the transition has gone better than he expected; both at work and home.

“I think the transition is actually exceeding my expectations,” said Deveau. “This is a model that we have seen work elsewhere with in XTO, having our operations-focused people closer to the well.”

XTO has seen that moving employees closer to operations makes sound business sense; there’s more camaraderie in the workplace, communication is more efficient and an already diligent cultural focus on safety is even further elevated.

XTO, corporate wide, is committed to executing work safely and driving incidents to zero. Notably, having a multi-disciplinary team completely Bakken-based has significantly improved the quality of safety investigations, which is key to eliminating future incidents.

XTO has four field offices in the Bakken; Williston, Killdeer, Alexander and Sidney, Mont. The company decided to expand the Williston office due to its amenities and central location.

Williston Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko said private and public investments have helped Williston attract business startups and expansions.

“As a community, we appreciate the investment companies like XTO have made in Williston,” said Wenko. Over the past several years, Williston has worked hard to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure and quality of life improvements to meet the needs of the industry. Williston is the place to invest long term.”

Deveau, who is married with two young children ages six and two, said his family has enjoyed going to community events such as the parade of lights and pumpkin patch. They also appreciate the ice skating rinks and giant indoor recreation center. The Williston Area Recreation Center, which opened in March of 2014, is home to a water park, tennis courts, weight room, fitness classes, golf simulator, basketball courts and much more.

“The ARC is great,” he said. “It is an amazing facility that rivals the things you would find in big cities,” said Deveau.

XTO is active in eight counties in western North Dakota. The company specializes in drilling for oil and gas in tight shale, coalbed and other unconventional formations. The employees that moved to Williston are highly trained engineers, field support staff and executives that lead the Bakken operations.

The company is housed in an office building that opened in 2014. The site is located next to TrainND and Halliburton in southeast Williston. XTO Energy currently has over 140 employees working in North Dakota.