The Varangian Way


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A Lull or the End of the Boom?

Workers in the Bakken are getting nervous. Oil prices are free falling, and the lay offs have started. Everyone has a prediction on what will happen, but only time will tell. I will say this: now is not a good time to come to North Dakota to look for work. For the first time in recent memory, the jobs are getting tighter.

There are still plenty of people working and making good money, and no matter what happens there will still be an oilfield here. But drilling is getting scaled back for new wells, so that has hit a lot of companies.

One trend I have noticed in the past year is that it is becoming more difficult for hands with no experience to break into the oilfield. Also, companies are increasingly favor people who are willing to live in town. Many of the allowances for travelling have been eliminated, and companies are more interested in full time workers. Some parts of the oilfield are even moving more towards the 5 day work week.

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Still In The Bakken

I just wanted to make a quick post to say that I’m still in the Bakken and still monitoring this blog for questions and comments from everyone. I’ll get to writing again soon I hope. Writing is just like everything else in life; you make a habit of it or it quickly falls into disuse, but writing also requires a lot of time “doing nothing,” thinking about things to write about.

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The Oilfield Archipelago

The oilfield worker in the Bakken lives on an island. Each boomtown is surrounded in all directions by miles of farms, only interrupted by the next town. Every day he ventures out into the nothingness between to work in the sea of farms between. 

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An Income Distribution Map That Enrages America’s Corrupt Elites


I found this fascinating graphic and article at The Atlantic magazine that shows the income distribution of counties in the 48 Contiguous United States. New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, cities all dedicated to stealing wealth from honest folks, have some of the highest concentrations of high earners. But look at the Bakken! The per capita income here is right up there with the usurers of Wall Street, the crooks of DC, and the degenerate freaks of Los Angeles. Imagine that.

I’m sure that rankles our “leaders,” and its an only a matter of time before they crush the prosperity of Western North Dakota.

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North Dakota Meditations 7: The Midden


Driving around the endless, rolling fields of Western North Dakota, one sees many of the rock piles that built up over the century as the soil spits up the rocks from the plowed fields each spring. Farmers gather the unwanted stones into one place, and often start junkyards on top of them.


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Abandoned Building, West of Newtown, ND on 1804


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