Watford City is located in McKenzie County, approximately 46 miles south of Williston, North Dakota and approximately 65 miles northwest of Killdeer, North Dakota.
The Watford City/ McKenzie County area is located at the center of the drilling activity for the Bakken Formation, which covers a land mass of approximately 200,000 square miles that stretches from Saskatchewan, Canada to northeast Montana and into Western Central North Dakota.
Watford City is located at the center of the oil field drilling activity for the Bakken. Founded in 1914 and incorporated in 1915, Watford City has experienced substantial growth from the oil boom. North Dakota is the second largest oil producer in the United States and Watford City is situated in the center of the Bakken oil field region.
Commercial development along State Route 85 has increased significantly due to the oil field activities in this region. Industries in the area include retail, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, education, and medical providers.