There’s oil in them thar prairies of Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota. And where there’s oil, there’s money to be made: and in the case of the Bakken oil boom, lots of money. If you can spit in the face of a “wild, wild west” mentality, read on:
Part 1 of this series, special for Woodall’s’ readers, will address the Bakken oil story, and the money to be made. Part 2 will address the pros and cons of making that money (and there are many of both), and Part 3 will address specific realities of RV life in oil boom country.
Bakken Oil Shale Production:
The Bakken (it’s the largest light sweet crude reserve in North America) is comprised of shale rock that covers over 200,000 square miles of Montana, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota. It’s estimated there are over several hundred billion barrels of oil there, but much of it is located within the actual shale itself. This does not make for easy extraction, which is why the oil has languished there (more or less) since its 1951 discovery.
However, technology has changed things. An extraction process called “fracking” (slang for hydraulic fracturing) has had a significant impact on the oil coming from the Bakken. Fracking is the process of fracturing rocks and injecting huge volumes of fluid at high velocity into cracks; this forces open the rock, which releases the oil. It’s those “fluids” that are the source of all kinds of controversies. Apologies to all you real experts out there, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em, and this is is my best description of fracking. These recent technological developments in oil extraction have led to impressive increases in the amount of oil coming out of the Bakken, and people from oil experts to Pizza Hut “team workers” are benefiting. A lot.
Long story short:
Over 458,00 barrels of oil per day are being produced
Where oil is being produced, there are jobs.
North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation (Montana is just riding the coat tails of this economic impact, but that’s another story…called politics.)
Workers are needed in eastern Montana and western North Dakota of all skill levels.
Open a map. Look at the dozens of prairire towns around Sidney, MT and Williston, ND. They’re probably looking for workers.
If you want highly detailed, specific information, you should check out the Bakken site for current information on the region, local news, and jobs. Of course the site’s information is published by Bakken, so it’s very pro the oil boom; you’d be right if you think there are many anti-fracker sites representing environmental concerns out there, but my purpose is to let you know about the oil boom, and the jobs.
I hope you return to read Part 2 of my series, if you or yours are looking for jobs. And remember, while the openings are legitimate and impressive, so are the downsides of living in these boom towns.
And for the record, there’s no way in …well, there’s no way, I’d take my daughter there, but hey…that’s just me.
Check back and find out why.