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It’s not every day when you work with helium leak testing in the oil industry and run into one Mr Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder and CEO surprised workers in Williston, North Dakota, by arranging a last minute visit to their tracking site to understand more about the oil and gas industry. His visit is part of his 2017 resolution to visit every state in America. Zuckerberg is known for his annual pledges and he describes them as necessary for him to “to learn new things and grow outside of my work”.

It is reported that his visit included being shown round a drilling rig as well as a round table discussion about the effects of fracking and the wider oil industry. He took to Facebook to state

“I believe stopping climate change is one of the most important challenges of our generation. Given that, I think it's even more important to learn about our energy industry, even if it's controversial. I encourage all of you to get out and learn about all perspectives on issues you care about too. Regardless of your views on energy, I think you'll find the community around this fascinating.”

He goes on to make comments on the wider community he met in this isolated town as well as highlighting social issues in such transient communities. Local Newspaper, The Bismark Tribune, interviewed executive director of the Williston Economic Department Shawn Wenko who said “He came across as a very nice guy, very open to conversation,” Wenko said. “We were excited that, of all the places in the world he could choose to go, he chose to come here and understand the oil and gas industry.”

With tracking being such a contentious issue it is refreshing to see someone so prominent promoting education, understanding and open discussion in the oil industry.