It is not often you have a chance to own a unique piece of history, but the Williston Basin Chapter of API has come up with just such an opportunity, working in conjunction with Williston State College.

On Monday, Williston State College and Williston API will unveil another in a series of statues that salute the spirit, history, and heritage of the Williston region. The statue, paid for largely by Williston API, is a bronze sculpture of an oilman from the early days of oil and gas extraction. It’s called The Driller, and it hearkens back to a time, as Williston Basin President Ken Callahan explains it, when rig hands were more likely to wear cowboy hats than hard hats.

Callahan said API worked with nationally known sculptor Benjamin Victor to come up with the concept for The Driller, exchanging both thoughts and historical photographs in the process.

“I mean that’s, you know, it’s the hard-working guys sitting here on the ground,” Callahan said. “What we didn’t want to do is depict what’s going on today, right, so that’s what we liked about it. It’s old school, beginning of time, when we first started drilling.”

The Driller is one of six statues Williston State College has worked with community groups to commission that celebrate an important aspect of the cultural heritage of the region. All but one of the six statues is already in place. The last is expected to be placed in November.

“Obviously, the energy sector has been a huge part of what our community has become,” Executive Director of Williston State College Foundation Hunter Berg said. “And so, this part was to celebrate the energy sector and all the good things that come about in Williston from that sector.”

The formal unveiling of The Driller is set for 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11 at the entrance to Williston State College. The public is invited to attend the event.

The bronze statue is already set in its place on a 20,000-pound slab of granite. But you will notice there is now a lot of bare ground around the statue. That is where your opportunity to own a piece of unique Bakken history comes in. Williston API is selling miniature replicas of The Driller, to help pay for not only for landscaping around their statue but one other, and additional scholarship money to boot.

The replicas will be identical bronze miniatures, mounted on a three-quarter inch block of granite, complete with plaques. The miniatures come in two sizes, an 8-inch statue for $3,000 and a 12-inch statue for $4,000.

Each of the miniatures will be numbered, and the very first statues, with No. 1 on them, will be auctioned off at the upcoming Williston Basin API banquet, set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at The Well.

API plans to sell a minimum of 10 of each size statue, but will be taking orders for more through December. Contact Williston Basin API at for details on how to place an order for this unique piece of Bakken history.

Proceeds from the sale of these statues will be used to help with landscaping around the oilman and one other statue at the college. The sales will also support the scholarship endowment API is working on for Williston State College.

Williston API has a long history of giving to community projects down through the years with donations to Neighborhood Watch Programs, food pantries, Make A Wish Foundation of North Dakota, fire and police departments, Feed My Starving Children, and that’s just to name a handful of the many worthy causes they have supported over the years. The community and industry organization recently celebrated a $1 million giving milestone. Williston API has given more than $1 million in donations to worthy community causes in an eight-year period as of June 2019.

Williston API has two main fundraisers each year, the Chili Cook-off and the API Golf Tournament, which raise the majority of funds for scholarships and community causes. They also annually hold a banquet to salute the companies and individuals who go above and beyond in the oil and gas industry.

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