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Bakken oil boom threatens Canadian producers

As thousands of workers flood into North Dakota to extract its shale-oil riches, producers north of the border compete for pipeline space while watching oil prices fall.

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Bright natural gas flares dot the North Dakota landscape amid an oil boom that is changing the energy dynamics of North America.

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Workers complete some of the final assembly of a 275-metre long building at the Berthold oil terminal, where North Dakota crude oil will be loaded onto trains.

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Roughnecks wrestle pipe on a True Company oil drilling rig outside Watford, N.D.

JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

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StatOil pumpjacks pump oil on the outskirts of the Bakken oil boom town of Williston, N.D.

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An oil drilling rig operates outside Watford, N.D.

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Thousands of people have flooded into North Dakota to work in the state’s oil drilling boom, where a job on an oil rig can pay up to $100,000 a year.

JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

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Brian Waldner prepares pipe on a rig outside Watford.

JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

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Across the prairies of North Dakota, Enbridge Inc. is installing new pipeline infrastructure to channel production from the fast-growing new oil field.

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Oil from North Dakota is creating concern among those selling Canadian oil, who are having trouble accessing their customary markets as Bakken tight oil takes up pipeline capacity.

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Oil industry worker Bobby Freestone enjoys a day off at a so-called ‘man camp’ outside Watford, where oil workers live in makeshift dormitories.

JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

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Enbridge Inc. is installing new pipeline infrastructure in North Dakota.

NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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When it is complete in February, 2013, the Berthold oil terminal will move 80,000 barrels per day by rail.

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