Monday, October 24, 2011

Big news this week out of the Bakken...

I can't believe I missed this one last week.  Brigham Exploration, the company mentioned in the New Yorker article last spring, and one of the early players in the Bakken (and I mean players; these guys bet the house) just sold to Norway's sovereign oil company Statoil for $4.4 billion.  Here's the article.  The article's concluding paragraph is noteworthy:

"Expectations are that North Dakota will move ahead of Alaska and California in annual oil production. That would put North Dakota behind only Texas...The sale of Brigham Exploration suggests the state's entering a new phase in the development of its petroleum resources, a shift from high-risk exploration and speculation to sustained long-term production."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Even the UK papers are taking notice of the Bakken...

Here's a link today from the Telegraph, a UK newspaper.  It mentions US shale oil development as one of the driving factors that could expel the US from its current economic doldrums.  The following line is worth repeating: 'Total US shale output [mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West] is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.'

The more I read, the more I believe that this is a phenomenal industry to get into.  Those who get with a company now will be rewarded in the short and long term.  My favorite professor in my undergraduate program, who taught International Finance, exhorted our class on the last day of the course to get with a company during the early growth phase, not at the peak, and definitely not when it's contracting.  Oil shale is definitely in that early growth phase...and it's looking to go a long way up.

(Another article on the Bakken appeared this weekend at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coil Tubing and Fracking Videos

Click on this link.  Then click the videos on the left-hand side.

The adventure continues...

Since I had to wait till Oct. 17 to start my job with Sanjel, for the last two weeks I have been in FL with my family, staying at my parents' place.  Sanjel flew me out to San Antonio, TX today in order to start my one month training.  They paid for the flight, hotel (Marriott), and picked me up in a Lincoln Town car.  Not bad treatment for a new hire, especially in this economy.

On the ride over, I was telling the driver about my recent situation.  He said he was very impressed that I would do what it takes to provide for my family.  He recounted how his friend, who is out of work, refuses to take any work beneath him, like driving a taxi, and is content living on the government dole.  This same friend also occasionally comes to the driver asking for financial help.  This account, unfortunately, characterizes many of the currently unemployed.

That's all for now.  Just wanted to give an update.  I'm going to head out to the pool and jacuzzi for a bit.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Williston Local Websites

Here's some good local online resources for Williston economic and social news:

1.  Williston Wire - This is a weekly wire of Williston area economic news put out by Williston Economic Development.

2.  Williston Life and Williston ND -  Sites about what life is like in Williston, put out by the local Williston Area Development Foundation.

3. Rockin the Bakken - a site about the Bakken oil shale formation.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to get hired in Williston in 3 days

Here is a quick guide to finding work in Williston in the shortest amount of time.

Step 1:  Get a CDL before you come.  This will open up innumerable more opportunities.  Almost every high-paying job here requires it, even if the job only requires driving 5% of the time.

Step 2:  Stop using drugs.  If you do, you will flunk the drug test, which is required of virtually every worthwhile job in town.

Step 3:  Be prepared to sleep in your vehicle.  There's no lodging in Williston for those not employed in Williston.  The oil companies have already rented out everything for 50 miles.

Step 4:  Go to the Jobs ND location when you get here.  This is the local jobs bank.  It is the best resource for finding both short and long-term employment.

Step 5:  Compile a list of companies and their office addresses in Williston.  It's a good idea to bring a GPS, too, so you can hit them up one-by-one expiditiously.  It's a good idea to hit up as many oil companies in town as possible, but you can get an idea of who is actively looking for workers by checking the Shopper

Step 6:  Don't just drop off a resume.  When you hit up a location, fill out the application right then and there.  After you hand it to the receptionist, ask if you can see the hiring manager.  If he is busy, sit down and wait.  This is how hiring happens in town.

That's it.  With good preparation, you can do this process over a two or three day time span.  If you already have a job in another part of the country.  Take a few days off, come to Williston, get a job, go back home (since usually you start a couple weeks after obtaining an offer), give your 14 days notice to your current job, and come back to Williston.  If you are currently out of work, you can come here, get a job, and do some temp construction work, which is plentiful, until your full-time gig starts.