Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

The changing landscape of North Dakota's oil industry

Over the last year, continually sliding oil prices forced a decrease in drilling and fracking in North Dakota's Bakken shale play. Persistent low oil prices have lead to dormant rigs, slower business in towns and a decrease in occupancy rates in RV parks and other housing favoured by oil field workers.

1 of 10

Dead sunflowers stand in a field near dormant oil drilling rigs which have been stacked in Dickinson, North Dakota. The collapse of U.S. oil and gas investment could have further to fall and Americans are showing signs they spend less of their windfall from lower gasoline prices than in the past, darkening the outlook for the U.S. economy.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

2 of 10

Sunset light reflects off an insulated RV outside of Watford City, North Dakota. As oil prices remain depressed, occupancy rates in RV parks and other housing favored by oil field workers have decreased significantly across North Dakota's Bakken shale play.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

3 of 10

Juan Rutia, a mechanic at J&C Custom Trucking, brushes water off the floor of the company's mostly-empty garage in Watford City, North Dakota. J&C Custom Trucking has decreased its staff from six mechanics to three, and sometimes still doesn't have enough work to keep them busy.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

4 of 10

A drive-through bakery and coffee shack waits for customers in Killdeer, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 10

Pumpjacks and other infrastructure for producing oil, dot fields outside of Watford City, North Dakota. Over the last year, continually decreasing oil prices have forced a decrease in drilling and fracking new wells in North Dakota's Bakken shale play.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

6 of 10

TAN Trucking company owner Ted Nelson (R) talks to J&C Custom Trucking parts manager Gary Bliss about the challenge of running an oil field company during a slowdown caused by low oil prices in Watford City, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

7 of 10

A sign advertises homes for sale in a new housing development in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

8 of 10

A truck sits idle outside an apartment in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

9 of 10

A natural gas flare on an oil well pad burns as the sun sets outside Watford City, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

10 of 10

A sign advertises apartments for rent in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

Report an error