North Dakota

4:58am

Fri January 31, 2014
The Great Plains Oil Rush

Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:26 am

The small streets of Williston, N.D., are bustling with trucks early in the morning.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.

Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Often, he makes the trip on a plane his company charters to shuttle workers between here and the Northwest.

"It's no fun coming over to North Dakota," he says, clutching a duffel bag and a cooler of food as he walks out of Williston's one-room airport and into the biting North Dakota winter.

But this is Richardson's new life.

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5:24am

Thu January 30, 2014
The Great Plains Oil Rush

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:44 am

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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4:26pm

Wed January 29, 2014
The Great Plains Oil Rush

Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:00 am

A drilling site rises from the middle of farmland near Fairfield, N.D. Many farmers and ranchers are profiting from the state's oil boom, but others complain that drillers are interfering with their business.
Jeff Brady NPR

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

Donny Nelson is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Keene, N.D., a rural community located in the center of an oil rush.

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5:20am

Wed January 29, 2014
Oil and Gas

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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5:03pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Around the Nation

String Of Oil Train Crashes Prompts Push For Safety Rules

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 pm

A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., in December.
Bruce Crummy AP

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. And in an unprecedented move, the NTSB made its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

With the huge increase in oil shipped by train across North America, the agencies warn another major disaster could be looming.

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