March 13, 2013

Where the Jobs Are: North Dakota's Oil Boom

Roughneck Brian Waldner

Underlying northwestern North Dakota is a massive rock formation, referred to as the Bakken shale,

which holds an estimated 18 billion barrels of crude oil. When this resource was first discovered in 1951, recovering it was financially unfeasible because the oil was embedded in the stone. Then, around 2008, everything changed, and North Dakota boomed. New drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," became widespread, and oil production took off. As of 2013, there are more than 200 active oil rigs in North Dakota, producing about 20 million barrels of oil every month -- nearly 60 percent of it shipped by rail, rather than pipeline. -- In Focus - The Atlantic [30 photos]

Roughneck Mike Lynch

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 13, 2013 11:02 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Abundant, reasonably priced energy is a must for a modern economy. The jobs in exploration, drilling, field development, refineries, pipelines, and distribution are all decent paying jobs. Economists have demonstrated that one good-paying job can create 5-8 more jobs. It's like the ripples from throwing a stone into a pond. The energy that is produced makes many other enterprises more efficient and creates more jobs and more wealth. Why can't progressives understand this?

Posted by: Jimmy J. at March 13, 2013 4:09 PM

Progressives in Norway do understand, and they have the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world to show for it, and no debt. American socialists do not have the same attitudes because they do not own the same political stake, or they would plunder natural resources with abandon, as their old Soviet friends did.

Posted by: james wilson at March 13, 2013 5:16 PM

It's definitely not just oil jobs. My boyfriend's nephew has a construction business in Utah. About a year and a half ago, he went from running two crews to one, then not enough work to keep things going and the bills paid. He went to North Dakota and did some construction work there. They need more housing. It was enough to keep his business going until things picked up in Utah. He's back home, running two crews again. His brother also has a construction business and he's still doing jobs in ND.

Posted by: Teri Pittman at March 14, 2013 11:31 AM

Teri, your anecdote illustrates my point. The oil jobs create all kinds of other jobs.

Not surprisingly, the oil jobs create jobs in other states where they make drilling tools, vehicles, compressors, steel, cement, etc., etc.

Economic activity that actually creates wealth (oil drilling, mining, farming, logging, manufacturing, construction, etc.) is what drives the service and financial industries. Without those wealth creators, which the Watermelons hate, the economy slows.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at March 14, 2013 4:17 PM

Dakota is becoming a major annoyance up here in Alberta, Canada. We're having a big energy boom too, with a gigantic labour shortage.

We used to be able to get some American workers up here, all the way from labour to senior engineers and executives. In Calgary I used to see many tradesman's trucks and vans with American names, addresses phone numbers and plates. No more.

Let folks know, if you want to travel and see something a bit different, we have work, tons of work.

Posted by: Fred Z at March 14, 2013 5:50 PM

There is no reason for a young, capable man not to be able to borrow a couple of hundred bucks to get to Dakota or south Texas and get an oil field job. If you show up sober and on time you'll be running a crew in a week.

Posted by: BradnSA at March 15, 2013 4:06 PM

BradnSA - Any idea what a 50 year old pencil pusher can do? Except selling a kidney, I mean...

Posted by: El Gordo at March 17, 2013 1:21 AM

A tooth (plural teeth) is a cheap, calcified, whitish order start in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and occupied to sever down food. Some animals, particularly carnivores, also partake of teeth in behalf of hunting or in place of defensive purposes. The roots of teeth are covered nearby gums. Teeth are not made of bone, but to a certain extent of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness.

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