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Inside Energy

Rent and Frozen Pillows: How Bakken Housing Evolved with the Oil Boom

Oct 23, 2018
Todd Melby

If you drove through the Bakken a few years ago, you would have seen dozens of new hotels, RV parks and mobile homes that popped up when the oil rigs rolled into town.

Housing prices soared as people flocked to western North Dakota. They came for jobs on the rigs, or to drive truck or lay pipe, and they needed places to live. So too did many new teachers, police officers and health care workers who supported the growing populations of towns like Williston and Watford City.

A shortage of oil workers

Jul 13, 2017

Standing on the shoulder of I-25 in eastern Wyoming, see a herd of pronghorn antelope running off that way and on this side of the interstate a billboard which reads “Crude Oil Drivers Wanted. Text Crude to 865-337-8415.”

This is happening in oil fields from North Dakota down to Texas.

HELMS: “You'll see close to 200 frack crew jobs listed for North Dakota,"

North Dakota Mineral Resources Director, Lynn Helms at a press conference last month.

HELMS: "The rigs are outrunning the frack crews."

With the help of a few more delegates from a handful of states, including North Dakota, Donald Trump  finally gathered enough to clinch the Republican nomination.

And with that news, the official Republican Presidential nominee rolled into Bismarck Thursday.

Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson has this report.

Trump addressed the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference for nearly an hour, laying out his thoughts on the future of U.S. energy. He  came out strong.

“President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy for whatever reason. “

When it comes to energy, presidential candidate Donald Trump has left a lot to the imagination. But today he’s traveling to Bismarck to address energy industry professionals from all across the country. North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the U.S (TK).  There’s many issues troubling the industry right now, from low energy prices to new federal regulations. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports.

Outside the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, a table is covered in swag. 

“Grab a couple. Take more than one!”

Highway 22 road trip

May 12, 2016

Dickinson, North Dakota is a very different place than it was two years ago, when this oilfield town of less than 30,000 people was one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Since then, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent. Nowhere are signs of the slowdown more visible than along Dickinson’s Highway 22. I decided to take a road trip to see what had changed along oil bust alley.

A proposal to define who can and cannot comment during oil and gas hearings is coming under fire. As Prairie Public's Emily Guerin reports, some worry the change would limit public involvement in oil and gas development.

Dustin Bergsing was a young, fit, bull rider from Montana. On a cold night in January 2012, he climbed to the catwalk on top of a 20 foot tall crude oil storage tank that was located on an oil well pad in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield. His job was to pop open the small hatch on top and drop a rope inside to measure the level of oil. Just after midnight, he was found dead by a co-worker, slumped on the catwalk.

Inside Energy: Running on Empty

Jan 20, 2016

Want to take a deep dive into what's happening in the oilfield and while listening to Jackson Browne? Then the monthly oil and gas production meetings at the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources are for you.

They're called the "Director's Cut." The "Director" is Lynn Helms, head of the DMR. Every month, Helms unveils a series of indicators that paint a picture of the overall health of the oilfield. And January's numbers weren't so good. I've picked five of them that tell the story of what's happening in the oilfield.

-$20 a barrel-

Inside Energy: Financial Lessons from the oil bust

Jan 4, 2016

When Inside Energy reporter Emily Guerin moved to North Dakota to cover the Bakken oil boom in June 2014, oil prices were over $100 a barrel. Since then, prices have plummeted to below $40 (update this on the day of by checking WTI price here: And instead of covering a boom, she's found herself covering a bust. Along the way, she's received some unexpected personal finance advice.