North Dakota’s oil and natural gas reserves begun to build up millions of years ago when rotting organic and natural material was covered by sediments settled in the massive, shallow ocean that covered western North Dakota. In excess of millions of years, hydrocarbons from this organic and natural substance flowed into somewhat porous and permeable reservoir rocks. The hydrocarbons grew to become concentrated once the permeable sediment layers ended up covered by impenetrable layers of sediment that made barriers in which the hydrocarbons accumulated. Along side the highway, you will sometimes see numerous petrified wood stumps. These “rockhard” stumps are remains from the prehistoric time when North Dakota was a substantial forest of sequoia trees and shrubs.
The North Dakota oil boom is additionally motivating new leasing activity in the Niobrara Shale in Wyoming and Colorado, the location where the 1st wells are now being created in similarly deep carbon-rich shales. Drilling stations crank out a great deal of business activities, no small part of which requires the contractors who don’t begin doing the drilling but do offer crucial supplementary expert services.
The boom in drilling has been made feasible by horizontal drilling and hydraulic breaking, or fracking, a strategy that fractures open rock layers to totally free oil. A lot of workers are required to operate drilling apparatus, drive trucks, deal with chemical substances, lay pipeline and carry out other responsibilities.
The result: A fantastic, old-fashioned oil boom.
For example of what North Dakota oil boom is like in 2011.
The boom continues booming almost 200 drilling rigs are boring 100 new wells monthly. North Dakota newest numbers indicate 16,435 job openings, 48 percent more than a year ago. There’s an oil boom in western North Dakota. Oil companies small and large are committing millions of dollars in new wells.
There’s no real estate avalible, so folks get to sleep in truck stops at Wal-Mart Stores’ parking lots.
Builders have widened plans from just a couple of dozen new houses and therefore are now constructing many hundreds of properties and 1000s of condo units.
The McDonald’s in Williston is among the most popular in the United States, and they have to fork out $15 an hour simply to catch the attention of personnel to work there.
And after that, there’s the trucks thousands of them on country roadways. There’s just one left turn in Williston that could get so backed up with truck traffic, it may take hours to get through the 4 way stop.
“If you’re not earning money now, there’s a problem,” stated Williston Mayor Ward Koeser, who is overwhelmed with handling the city’s expansion, from sewage treatment to building permits to an dramatical surge in traffic violations.
When it comes to oil itself, it develops from a rock structure known as the Bakken, which covers 14,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana, and Canada.
The U.S. Geological Survey says there are at least 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, but other estimates indicate that it could be four to five times that.
“Definitely, it’s the biggest oil field discovered in North America in the last Forty years,” stated Bud Brigham, founder and Chief executive officer of Brigham Exploration, that has secured the company’s foreseeable future on the Bakken oil business. “If it’s a lot more than 15 billion barrels, it could be the greatest oil field discovered in North America ever before.”
The Bakken has been a known source of oil for decades, but only in recent years has it become feasible—and profitable—to get it out of the ground.
The two main reasons behind this: oil selling prices and drilling technological innovation.
Oil companies will drill two miles down and two miles horizontally. Then, they use hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to create space for oil to flow out of the rock hundreds of thousands of barrels a day, literally, one drop at a time.
“In a couple of years, the Williston Basin will surpass the oil production out of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska” .
Of course, that’s as long as prices remain relatively high and fracking is allowed to continue.
Fracking, it’s the process that makes oil extraction possible in the dense rock and shale of the Bakken. Basically, equipment creates thousands of fissures in the rock and then sand, water, and even ceramics are blasted into the rock in order to prop open the fissures to allow oil to flow.
There are chemicals in the “frack water,” and there has been some environmental backlash.
To date, it appears like the drilling technique is safe from any restrictions or over-regulation, however, if fracking were ever restricted or banned, the North Dakota Oil Boom would go bust.
For the time being, it is actually full-speed ahead, which indicates hiring continues at a fast rate. The trickle down is everywhere, and also the financial resources are eye-popping.
In case you have a license without any criminal background, you will get a six-figure trucking career pretty much immediately. Real estate property building is practically as crazy as the oil drilling, and there’s obviously any good massive business in real estate for the employees who don’t have housing.
They’re called “man camps” in the neighborhood parlance, and although there are several ladies lodging there, it’s nearly as bad as many people would believe it is.
Trailers lined up in rows with workers either sleeping in simple single rooms, or in some cases, bunking up with others.
Meals is in the cafeteria, and firms for instance Halliburton and Schlumberger pay typically $120 for each individual per night to securely house and feed their laborers.
“We have practically 3,000 sleeping quarters under our supervision, spanning more than hundreds of miles while in Bakken,” explained Brian Lash who operates Boston-based Target Logistics, the main “man camp” supplier inside Bakken.
Lash has managed booms previously, and his steps suggest that North Dakota Bakken still has room to develop.
“We’ve purchased practically $100 million in properties and underground facilities to date in the Bakken,” he was quoted saying. “We have yet another three projects that we’re going to begin.”
In Williston, the “man camp” is actually a much better location to be compared to Wal-Mart parking area or the rear of a pick-up truck. But the majority of folks don’t care, provided that the jobs continues and the cash will continue to flow with the oil.
As the sun begins to set on the back end of the Wal-Mart parking lot. “Folks start to arrive to rest on their trucks, cars, campers and mobile homes.