Patti Faustini: Part 1 of How you can benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom: There’s oil and jobs!

author image

January 30, 2012

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.

Happy tales,

Leave a Reply


  1. Patti faustini

    Hi Echo Moon, and thank you for writing. You’re right… The housing shortage is so intense in the oil boom towns that I’ve dedicated Part 3 of this series to just that reality. I hope you read Parts 2 and 3 of the series. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Best regards, and

    Happy Tales!


  2. Echo Moon

    The extreme housing shortage should have been mentioned!!!

    So many people are pouring into the area of Williston ND that people have been sleeping in their cars, trucks and under whatever tree they can find!!!

    The jobs available are awesome. The living stinks!!! Strippers in the clubs are becoming rich and some hookers are making up to $3000 a night

  3. You’re right,, Butterbean. And no, they haven’t found Sherry Arnold yet. Very sad, but we have to remember the many stories of good guys who go to these places, and honorably and ethically support their families.

    Happy tales,


  4. butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Patti,
    You are so right about not taking your daughter into the area!! I’m glad you aren’t there!! If and when they ever find Sherry Arnold..!! All oil-towns are the very same; TX,PA,MT,ND.. The workers will come and the crime; both for the $$$$!!!!