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Old December 21st, 2007, 12:25 AM   #1
globill
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Booming North Dakota Needs Workers

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/no...ing/2305573649
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Old December 21st, 2007, 02:15 AM   #2
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not a thread name im use to seeing
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Old December 21st, 2007, 03:17 AM   #3
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That's why I posted it. Not many think of ND as a hotbed of economic opportunity, maybe it is though.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:35 AM   #4
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The reason for the boom



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January 1, 2008
Oil in North Dakota Brings Job Boom and Burdens
By MONICA DAVEY

STANLEY, N.D. — At dawn, people from faraway states huddle outside the Mountrail County courthouse here, the coldest ones leaving briefcases and books to secure their spots for the moment it opens.

It is a peculiar sight in Stanley, population roughly 1,200, one in a constellation of isolated and, in some cases, shrinking farm towns along North Dakota’s wide open western edge where few residents recall a traffic jam.

The early morning line hints at the sudden fortune that has arrived: Oil companies, saying that they located what may prove to be one of the largest recent oil finds in the United States, have begun drilling all through these parts. Fifty-two drilling rigs were at work in the state at the end of December; a count taken in October showed that 198 new wells had been drilled in a year, state officials said.

At the courthouse, the crush of people, known as landmen in the world of oil, spend their days scouring enormous old binders of deeds, each trying to sort out who owns the mineral rights to land that once seemed valuable mainly for growing durum wheat or peas.

“It seems like God flew over this country, and a dart landed on Granddad’s homestead,” said John Warberg, who is being paid royalties for the new oil well on the land where his grandfather’s crumbling, nearly century-old homestead shack stands.

People here say the oil boom could be the answer to fears that Stanley might one day disappear, like so many ghost towns in North Dakota, where the population peaked in 1930. In Stanley and towns like Killdeer, Parshall and Tioga, oil crews have filled roadside motels. And schools are growing or, at least, not shrinking anymore.

But new strains have flowed along with the oil. Roads and water systems are being used at levels unseen here. The number of workers switching to oil jobs — the oil industry in the state expects to need 12,000 new workers by 2010 — has left some restaurants shortening their hours, county and town officials leaving positions unfilled, and at least one desperate fast food place offering signing bonuses.

A year ago, the North Dakota Department of Commerce began recruiting prospective workers at job fairs in Chicago, Denver and St. Paul. Marketed mainly to people who had once lived in North Dakota, the fairs even provided home-state food — buffalo meat, a dessert known as kuchen and chocolate-covered potato chips — to lure people back.

“We’re going to get nothing out of this except a headache and a heartache,” Ken G. Halvorson, the county sheriff here who has been elected eight times (and also serves as coroner), said of the oil boom.

For the moment, North Dakota, where oil was first found in 1951, is only a tiny piece — about 2 percent — in the nation’s domestic oil production, well behind Alaska, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and others. About 129,000 barrels daily come from North Dakota, said Ron Ness, the president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, but the numbers are growing.

The oil is being drawn from a formation beneath the land here and parts of eastern Montana and Canada. Named the Bakken, after the owner of the land where oil was first found, it was identified more than 50 years ago, but no one figured out how to tap into it successfully until recently.

In 2001, new exploration into the Montana side of the Bakken — an Oreo cookie-like structure of shale, a layer of tan sandstone and siltstone, then shale again — began netting crude oil, thanks in part to new extraction technology. By about 2004, with rising oil prices, companies began sending a few landmen to western North Dakota; in the area around Stanley, the boom took off in 2007.

Lately, landmen — some are women — fill the county recorder’s office, the courthouse hallways, the community room upstairs and even the jury deliberations room, save the rare day when a jury trial comes to quiet Mountrail County.

In a single month this fall, the county recorder, Joanne Stanley, was handed 1,200 documents for recording — most of them legal agreements for drilling rights on the land of local farmers, and more than twice what had been a normal workload.

“The size of the target is what’s got everybody excited,” said Lynn Helms, the director of the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s oil and gas division, which regulates drilling in the state.

No one is certain how much oil the Bakken will produce. However, Steven G. Grape, of the federal Energy Information Administration, said calculations from the Montana side already suggested that, aside from five fields in Texas and California, it was producing more crude oil than other onshore fields in the lower 48 states.

Estimates have ranged wildly, said Julie LeFever, a geologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey, but many scientists suspect that the Bakken may contain 200 billion barrels of oil — significantly more, for instance, than the much debated field in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Still more in doubt, though, is how much trapped oil can be recovered.

But Mr. Helms can also list worries that the oil boom has created. Much of the natural gas that has also been found in the drilling here is being burned off while workers race to build new natural gas plants in the region. The area needs more pipeline to make use of the oil it is finding. It also needs more electricity for its new gas plants, more fresh water for all this drilling, more housing and more workers.

Some here also wonder how long the oil boom will last. In places like Williston, a city of more than 12,000 about 70 miles west of Stanley, people have been through such a boom before and suffered through the bust that followed.

When oil showed promise in the early 1980s, some thought Williston’s population would grow to 40,000. City officials took on more than $20 million in debt to build streets and sewers for subdivisions that never arrived after the price of oil collapsed in the mid-1980s.

No one has forgotten.

“Some people are conservative about this now, and some people are just bitter,” said Cyndy Aafedt, an owner of El Rancho Motor Hotel in Williston, its 92 rooms nearly always full these days.

Ms. Aafedt has struggled so much to fill 10 job openings that she sometimes cleans rooms herself. “I think people just say they don’t think this will last, though,” she said. “They don’t want to get caught with their pants down, admitting that they actually do believe.”

Mr. Warberg, the owner of a farm where an oil well was drilled a year ago, would not say how much he was earning from EOG Resources Inc., the company that sunk the well. Such talk, he said, would hardly suit a North Dakotan.

“What I’ve gotten this far,” Mr. Warberg said, “some people would consider it wealth and some people would blow it on one shopping trip.”

Mr. Warberg said he hoped to use his money on travel, bills, farm equipment and new door hinges on his blue 1983 Chevrolet pickup. He said he also planned to continue planting durum wheat and wearing his old work boots.

Mr. Warberg, 55, said that he sometimes missed the solitude and silence he grew up with here, but he proudly pointed out the well that carried his family name on its sign. Standing on a rise beside the well on a recent evening, the distant sound of drilling echoed. The glow of flares — natural gas burning off — warmed the air and dotted the landscape. Oil trucks kicked up dust along the gravel roads.

“I hope the place won’t change, but it probably will,” he said. “I have thought about this a lot. I guess what I hope is that I don’t change.”
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 01:20 PM   #5
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Fascinating. It'd be funny if the oil reserve turned out to be GIGANTIC and Stanley turns into Dubai, USA.
Ok, maybe not.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond James Bond View Post


LINK

January 1, 2008
Oil in North Dakota Brings Job Boom and Burdens
By MONICA DAVEY
when will the New York Times stop following me? silly losers....
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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Wow, I hadn't read much about North Dakota.

Did you know the population of the state grew rapidly until 1930, and has spent the better part of a century now just wafting up and down between about 620,000 and 650,000. It actually has less people now than it has since the 70's.

It could definitely use a boost.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 01:02 AM   #8
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Fascinating. It'd be funny if the oil reserve turned out to be GIGANTIC and Stanley turns into Dubai, USA.
Ok, maybe not.
Maybe not Stanley, but ya never know about Bismark. Or maybe even Minot!
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #9
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Farmer Warberg = Beverly Hilbillies
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Old January 4th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Farmer Warberg = Beverly Hilbillies
Haha, that's true.

Except there aren't many hills in North Dakota. More like . . . Plainsbillies.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #11
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Actually, part of North Dakota has the North Dakota Badlands



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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #12
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Here's to hoping that there will be a decent sized city I can take a trip to for a week. Seattle is just too far.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #13
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Is Bismarck not big enough for ya?

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Old January 5th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #14
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It is about as entertaining as going to Red Deer.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Did you know the population of the state grew rapidly until 1930, and has spent the better part of a century now just wafting up and down between about 620,000 and 650,000. It actually has less people now than it has since the 70's.
North Dakota's population first reached 600,000 in 1914, the same year that World War I began. It has been in the 600,000s ever since, reaching a high of about 680,000 around 1930. It's currently right around the middle of the 600,000s, just shy of 650,000.

South Dakota did the same, first reaching 600,000 in 1913, and also languishing in the 600,000s until 1992, when it finally reached 700,000. South Dakota is now just shy of 800,000, and according to the recently released 2007 state population estimates, South Dakota had the highest percentage increase of the twelve midwestern states between 1 July 2006 and 1 July 2007.

It would be nice if North Dakota could resume some upward growth as well.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #16
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with the oil boom, I am sure it will....
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Old June 15th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #17
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Wow, I hadn't read much about North Dakota.

Did you know the population of the state grew rapidly until 1930
Funny, last week's Economist had a story about Saskatchewan -- in 1931 it was Canada's third most populous province. High commodity prices (wheat, potash, uranium, oil and gas) are bringing back economic activity and people. Population just went back over 1M, over territory far more vast than N.D.

Weirdest fact: Saskatoon home prices are up 57%! (Average January low: -9F, and they literally have five months with average lows above freezing.) And in one of those weird details that only Canadians care about, SK has gone from donee to donor under Canada's fancy fiscal transfer program. (America also has fancy fiscal transfer programs, but we don't really account for such inter-state transfers. The few attempts to quantify them have found, basically, that the blue states subsidize the red.)
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 08:49 AM   #18
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I still can't imagine actually living in North Dakota. We used to have to go through the state when I was growing up to visit family in BC. Such a horrid, boring place. At least South Dakota has Mt. Rushmore and a drug store.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 12:31 PM   #19
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fargo's a pretty cool little city...
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 12:00 PM   #20
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I still can't imagine actually living in North Dakota. We used to have to go through the state when I was growing up to visit family in BC. Such a horrid, boring place. At least South Dakota has Mt. Rushmore and a drug store.
Wow! A drug store!
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