Oil-Price Plunge Hits North Dakota — Energy Journal
A magnet for oil workers has lost some of its attraction in the wake of plummeting oil prices, Russell Gold reports. After the oil boom started in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, Williston became the fastest-growing small city in the U.S. But Bakken crude has always been expensive to produce and ship, and when oil prices started to fall, oil producers there cut spending and jobs. Companies are “doing some culling,” said Paul Stromme, a supervisor at a company that lays pipelines.
The North Dakota jobless rate was still only 2.8% in December, but unemployment doesn’t tell the whole story, said Phil Davis, director of state agency Job Service North Dakota. “Companies are cutting back hours,” he said. “Guys are still working full time, 40 or 45 hours a week, but not 60 to 80 hours a week any more.”