Alexandria, VA – Diesel-soaked clothing, 90-hour work weeks, and the constant groaning of a multimillion-dollar oil rig towering overhead: Welcome to life in Williston, N.D., home of the United States' latest oil boom. In this month's issue of EARTH Magazine, R. Tyler Powers, a young geologist thrust into the middle of the new boomtown, offers his perspective on what life is like today in the new Wild West.
Thousands of oil rigs sit atop the Bakken Formation, a Late Devonian to Early Mississippian rock formation that underlies parts of Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Bakken Formation contains anywhere from 3 billion to 4.3 billion (or possibly much more) barrels of recoverable oil worth hundreds of billions of dollars. But with big rewards come big sacrifices, and life in Williston "man-camps" comes with its ups and downs. Think you can rough it? Read the full story and find out at http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/bakken-boom-and-new-wild-west-young-geologist%E2%80%99s-perspective.
Make sure to check out the other great stories in the October issue of EARTH! Find out how insurance agencies are dealing with natural disasters; learn why giant prehistoric insects couldn't compete with birds; and see why Arctic humidity is on the rise.
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
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