Built up by oil boom, North Dakota now has an emptier feeling

Photo courtesy Hess Corporation
Photo courtesy Hess Corporation

As the price of oil has skidded to $30 a barrel, new drilling has dried up, and the flood of wealth and workers is ebbing.

By Jack Healy | The New York Times

WILLISTON, N.D. — The “man camps” sprang up from the prairie, rows of trailers and modular steel boxes that housed thousands of workers chasing their fortunes in North Dakota’s oil fields. But these days, the man camps are missing something: men.

Roughly eight years ago, at the peak of the last recession, oil drilling began to transform these remote corners of the plains into an economic beacon, attracting billions of dollars in new investments and thousands of workers in search of good-paying jobs and an escape from America’s economic pain. But now, as oil prices have skidded to $30 a barrel, new drilling has dried up here, and the flood of wealth and workers is ebbing.

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