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Page 32


Spring 2011 • BAKKEN BREAKOUT


Photo courtesy of New Town News


By Tina Ding for the Tribune Increased oil activity has made for changes and opportunities


A plethora of liquid plunder lies beneath the Earth’s surface — albeit a few miles down. Throngs of workers target the Bakken and Three Forks-Sanish oil formations, discovering oil related employment as western North Dakota’s landscape continues evolving to include pumps, rigs and trucks as well as an aftermath of battered roads, inadequate housing and an uptick in population.


Frankly, much of rural North Dakota is scrambling to catch up.


Drilling the holes of yesterday would take more than two months; today’s drills bore down and out in less than 30 days. Modern technology, better equipment and education, as well as rigid safety regulations move crews from one site to another efficiently. In the


process, housing is difficult, particularly when housing opportunities are scarce. Workers find steady employment in the oil field; many bringing along wives or their families. However, since housing is an issue, commuting to remote locations is a way of life for many.


New Town and the surrounding Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara


Nation, otherwise known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, feel the pressure. Struggling with a deteriorated infrastructure, New Town is working to improve housing needs, repair roads and update electrical lines. Improvements are complete with both water and sewer systems.


Diligence toward infrastructure will pay off. Thanks largely to a


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