Oil has often brought tumultuous change to the region under which it is discovered. Geologists and oil companies have long known that the Bakken oil field under North Dakota existed, but, until the development of efficient fracking technology, there was no cost-effective way of extracting it. That has changed, and so has Williston, ND. The deluge of oil workers arriving in town has caused a spike in crime and a severe housing shortage. Rental prices rival those in Manhattan, and workers sleep in their cars or in the local church. Despite this, the lure of high-paying jobs will likely continue to draw hordes to Williston.
See more from Charles Ommanney’s ‘The Promised Land’ here.