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Author Topic: williston ND  (Read 2150 times)
belfert
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2012, 10:07:57 AM »

It appears RVers wore out their welcome at this Walmart by staying long term.  This is exactly why many RVers say never to start pulling out chairs and other stuff to make it look like a campground when you overnight at Walmart.
Brian, these were not "RVers" passing through Williston.  Williston is experiencing a severe housing shortage due to the shale oil boom -- rents have quintupled, campgrounds are full, people are living in cars, tents, trailers, whatever.  These are roughnecks with no place to stay -- oil company can't build dorms fast enough.  Google Williston and you can read up on it.

I understand they were staying long term, but I wasn't sure what to call them besides RVers.  Walmart was generous to let them stay as long as they did.  These folks probably did a fair bit of shopping at Walmart, but I also suspect they started to scare away other shoppers.  I don't think there has ever been a time I have stayed overnight at Walmart that I have not gone into the store to shop.

There are enterprising folks who want to buy/rent old schools and other vacant buildings to set up man camps.  Approval has been hard to come by because long term residents don't want these facilities and in some cases the towns don't believe their sewage system could handle the extra load.  In some cases the town's population could easily grow by 50% to 100% almost overnight.  I have no idea why the state doesn't require oil companies to have places for employees to live before starting to drill.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Sean
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2012, 01:01:50 PM »

...  I have no idea why the state doesn't require oil companies to have places for employees to live before starting to drill.

At the risk of turning this into a political discussion which can go way OT in a hurry, that's the camel's nose in the tent.  Requiring private employers to ensure that enough housing is available locally for employees before opening a business or starting any sort of endeavor would ultimately make doing business in this country even more expensive than it is today, resulting in both higher consumer prices and more industry moving offshore.

Where would it end?  Should Walmart, Target, Macy's, etc. have to ensure there is enough employee housing before opening a new store?  Honda or GM ensure there is housing before opening an auto factory?  In the chicken-and-egg scenario, why would housing developers build houses where there is no factory to employ the homeowners merely on spec, hoping that a company might open a factory if there is enough housing?  I think you can see where this is going -- someone will end up paying for either empty housing to be built to guarantee a factory, or an idle factory until the housing can follow, and that someone will be consumers and/or taxpayers.

If you apply this "rule" only to a single industry, such as oil exploration and development, the same effects occur just on a narrower scale.  You simply end up adding to the costs of the product, which in this case is fossil fuel, and (here comes the bus-related content), we the consumers of said fuel will ultimately pay the price, all so that a tiny tiny fraction of the population can avoid being temporarily inconvenienced -- classic NIMBY.

I will point out, BTW, that at the same time the taxpayers of Williston were complaining about losing their small-town feel and having to deal with congested streets, higher crime, and all the things that go along with explosive growth, they were also quick to cash in on the bonanza by jacking up rents, selling property at substantial gains, and fleecing the drillers for everthing they could.  Nothing wrong with this -- it's just how the free market works.

North Dakotans may not be used to it, but the American west is dotted with towns that went from one-horse to boomtown overnight, then boomtown to ghost town nearly as fast -- it is the way of the world with scarce natural resources like minerals such as metals and gemstones, and, yes, fossil fuels.

Parking at the Walmart in Williston is a casualty of the situation, but frankly I am happy to give that up in order to advance domestic oil production and reduce our dependence on foreign oil -- notwithstanding Nick's thread about HoJo motors Smiley I will be running diesel in my bus for the rest of my life.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Hobie
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 02:21:35 PM »

".. that's the camel's nose in the tent"   love this expression!   I'm going to copy you, if I may ! 

Excellent free market solution related to public policy.  Nice Sean.    I wonder why there is not a resurgence of 'Company Towns' in this area?   ---politcal rant deleted Wink
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Fredward
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 06:40:08 PM »

Don,
I have a couple quarters of land with a vacant farmstead near Plaza, ND if that would interest you. It has a well and septic. Not sure if the power is on or not at present. Nice spot.
Fred
612-801-4826
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Fred Thomson
belfert
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 06:59:19 PM »

Oil companies have certainly provided housing in remote locations when necessary.  I highly doubt being required to secure housing would drive up the price of oil.  Nothing says they couldn't charge employees rent to cover the cost.

Oil is priced based on supply and demand.  The price has little to do with production costs.  We probably wouldn't be seeing the rush to drill if the price of oil wasn't so high.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Eagle Andy
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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2012, 07:19:17 PM »

For what it's worth I have worked in the Williston Sidney Area for 4 years. And watched it go from small production to what it is today at what seems over nite. The City Fathers of williston turned a blind eye to what was coming because of being burned from the last boom.
That being said the companys that are over there are doing what they can to supply there people with something to live in. But along with all booms come the ones that just show up for the spoils.
Walmarts parking lot like most of the open space there just got abused. plan and simple They did what they had to do. The Williston area can not keep up with what's happening. I don't have any answers just first row seats.
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2012, 07:26:57 PM »

Oil is priced based on supply and demand.  The price has little to do with production costs.  We probably wouldn't be seeing the rush to drill if the price of oil wasn't so high.

supply and demand is only partially to blame for oil prices. Lets not forget about the oil speculators, they can really wreak havoc on the price we pay at the pump.
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