PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota officials are taking new steps to promote businesses related to the oil and gas industry.

State Energy Policy Director Hunter Roberts says South Dakota can attract new businesses and help existing companies expand to serve the oil fields in nearby North Dakota.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development has hired Black Hills Business Strategy, a consulting firm based in Rapid City, to study how South Dakota businesses can take advantage of opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

Jim Quinn of Black Hills Business Strategy says the firm is identifying oil and gas operators, drillers, contractors and suppliers who are active in the North Dakota oil fields. He says the study will determine how South Dakota companies can provide goods and services to those working in the oilfields.

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