In case you've been living under a rock, there's an oil-rush on in North Dakota. Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG) is now reaping the benefits of its investment in the state -- specifically in the Bakken Shale Reserves.

Share prices of Kodiak have shot up an amazing 120% over the past six months. Compare that to the S&P 500, which has only risen 20% over the same period. And, believe it or not, there's good reason to believe the trend will continue; the company intends to expand its operations in 2011.

Making moves
From a humble start in 2008, producing 300 barrels of oil equivalent per day -- or BOE/d for short -- the company has come a long way. As of Dec. 31, 2010, Kodiak produces approximately 2700 BOE/d -- this with a two rig drilling program in the Williston Basin of North Dakota. Investing in Exploration and Production (E&P) companies is not an easy task, of course, where various speculative factors can come into play. So many companies have had to deal with dry wells and natural disasters. But on the flip side, a successful venture can set the share prices zooming -- as is clearly the case with Kodiak and its shares.

A growth strategy
Investors should be enticed by what's going on at Kodiak. The company plans to double its number of rigs in the Bakken and Three Forks region to four. In addition, the company holds a 50% working interest in a joint venture with ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) in a drilling project in the nearby Dunn County.

With the company aiming for 5,500-6,500 BOE/d in 2011, things are definitely looking good. Naturally, risks abound, especially in this industry. But I don't believe there's significant cause for worry in the long run.

The oil rush in North Dakota is slowly turning the tide in favor of investors and companies like Kodiak. I'm slowly becoming a believer. Kodiak's good fortune appears to be a sign of better things to come

Fool contributor Isac Simon does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.