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 North Dakota's oil boom: 11 cool facts

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PostSubject: North Dakota's oil boom: 11 cool facts   Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:49 pm

The energy economy is fueling unbridled growth and creating jobs in this quiet corner of the country.

Blaire Briody, The Fiscal Times

Boomtown, USA
A quiet boom has been slowly taking place in the westernmost corner of North Dakota -- one that is starting to resemble the size and scale of the 1849 gold rush.

Men (and a few women) from all over the country are descending upon the area to try and strike it rich. They've heard of $100,000-a-year jobs for 22-year-olds with no experience, a 1% unemployment rate (compared to 7.6% nationwide) and people making more money than they know what to do with. What was once a sleepy region with large swaths of open space and tiny single-street towns has been inundated with thousands of workers, dozens of temporary housing camps, traffic, crime and skyrocketing living costs.

In 2008, oil companies discovered that by using the new drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, they could tap into the estimated 170 billion barrels of crude oil that sat beneath the ground in the Bakken shale foundation.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) calls the Bakken shale foundation, stretching across 200,000 square miles, the largest continuous oil accumulation it has ever seen. Oil was first discovered there in 1951, but it hasn't been accessible until now.

The USGS estimates the U.S. will be able to recover 7.4 billion barrels of oil from the region and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. So far, only about 250 million barrels of oil have been recovered. The region now accounts for 42% of the growth in U.S. oil production in recent years.

Click Here to see 11 more amazing facts about this 21st century oil boom.

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