Why Oil Discoveries are Turning the World Upside Down

Written by on November 4, 2012 in Money - No comments | Print this page


Hard-working Americans are flocking to tiny towns in North Dakota in hopes of bringing home the big bucks. It may be the middle of nowhere, but oil companies have discovered ways to tap oil reserves that are located within the Bakken formation, a rock unit that covers about 200,000 square miles throughout North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan, Canada. The media reports that the Bakken area has the potential to produce as much as a million barrels of oil per day. This means that employees are needed!

So much work available that, just like Rosie the Riveter, as this young woman in a Williston, ND downtown festival portrays, people are flooding into the region to fill the plethora of job openings.

Bakken Oil Boom: High-Paying Jobs for All Skill Levels

Oil workers in the Bakken area can make anywhere between $77,000 to over six figures per year. Thanks to the fact that more and more people are moving to the area, there are also plenty of high-paying alternatives to working in the oil fields, such as:

  • Railroad and road workers
  • Construction workers
  • Mechanics
  • Welders
  • Roofers
  • Carpenters
  • Drywall workers
  • Administrative office workers
  • Healthcare professionals

The above photos illustrates the concurrent need for increased educators as the Bakken area townships are growing with families in need of quality education for their children. This photo was taken at the Google Workship for Educators in Minot, ND.

Even entry-level jobs that do not require an advanced education or training pay well in the Bakken, so oil workers’ family members can also make large contributions to household income. Fast food employees can earn double what they would make anywhere else, and hiring bonuses for referring friends or family are common, too. Where else can you make $15 per hour making tacos or flipping burgers?


An Environmental Disaster Waiting to Happen?

But exciting oil discoveries bring their fair share of controversy to the table, too. In addition to more jobs for Americans and the possibility that Bakken oil could eventually drastically reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil, there is the remote possibility of an environmental disaster.  Some people have concerns about that risk and the oil companies regularly address these issues, combining the Bakken oil boom with environmentally conscious methods of work, refining the processes day by day, right along with the oil.

Just two years after the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, people have a better understanding of drilling for oil. A new technology known as fracking is being used to extract the oil from the rock. Some fear that chemicals used for fracking, or even the oil itself, could contaminate the area’s water supply. The disposal of hazardous chemicals is also a large concern for local residents as well as environmentalists around the world.  Scientists and environmentalists continue to closely monitor the situation, keeping watch for any potential trouble thay may arise.

Oil in Israel: Potential for Middle Eastern Conflict

In addition to the Bakken area, commercially exploitable natural gas and oil was recently discovered approximately 50 miles offshore from Israel’s port of Haifa. Once completely dependent on its Arab neighbors for fuel, Israel’s exploration partner Noble Energy discovered the Tamar field in the Levintine Basin. It was the world’s largest gas discovery in 2009.

Just one year later, Noble discovered that the field was much larger than initially estimated. Once worried about dwindling gas supplies, Israel could now quite possibly become a major exporter of natural gas. However, disputes are already rising between Israel and Lebanon. Where is the demarcation line under water? Does the gas reserve truly belong to only Israel? Battles easily could ensue.

Perhaps the fact that recent oil discoveries, such as those in Bakken and Isreal, are turning the world upside down in more ways than one will help increase research and availability of alternative energy sources.






Attached Images:

This is a guest post.  Paul Moore works with a company, Bakken Residence Suites, that provides much needed housing to corporations for employees coming into the Bakken region either alone or with families, offering a wide variety of very nice small apartments.


About the Author

Guest Blogger

This article was written by a guest contributor. You will find their details at the bottom of the post. To submit your own Guest Post to our website, please visit our SUBMIT page for details about adding your article.