If North Dakota oil wells had a mirror image aboveground…

ND oil in the air
…This is what it would look like — Click to enlarge

More than 11,000 oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota since 2006, covering the state’s agricultural landscape. In all, almost 40,000 miles of well bores have been drilled underground to connect the fracking operations to surface wells. Laid end to end, they would circle the Earth about one and a half times.

On Sunday, The New York Times published a monthslong investigation by Deborah Sontag and Robert Gebeloff into North Dakota’s conflicted relationship with its booming oil industry. In the process of reporting that article, we obtained the locations of every oil drilling line of every well in the state.

The precise depths and directions of these remain out of sight for a very obvious reason: The drilling lines are underground. Here, we change that.

The illustrations shown here are accurate in every respect except one: We changed the vertical direction of each oil well bore to go above ground instead of below it. Otherwise, every bore line is shown precisely how it’s described by North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy over lowered gasoline prices we’re all getting to enjoy. Why worry about air pollution when you can get in your car and drive to every sale in every brick-and-mortar store in your county over the weekend?

However – given my personal experience working for some of these profit-hungry creeps now awash in dollars as much as they are in oil – I could drive you into North Dakota blindfolded. And with the windows open in my pickup, you could tell when we were entering that oil field by the smell of what used to be clean air.

5 thoughts on “If North Dakota oil wells had a mirror image aboveground…

  1. keaneo says:

    Same in any oil town. Odessa, TX – Carlsbad, NM – anywhere S of New Orleans, LA…lots of regs still don’t stop the stink.

  2. Spectator says:

    12/1/14: “Oil at $40 Possible as Market Redraws Politics From Caracas to Tehran” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-30/oil-at-40-possible-as-market-transforms-caracas-to-iran.html “Oil has dropped 38 percent this year and, in theory, production can continue to flow until prices fall below the day-to-day costs at existing wells. Stevens said some U.S. shale producers may break even at $40 a barrel or less. The International Energy Agency estimates most drilling in the Bakken formation — the shale producers that OPEC seeks to drive out of business — return cash at $42 a barrel.”
    Producing the same barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia’s prolific Ghawar field costs around $10. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexis-crow/america-fracking-saudi-oil_b_6091942.html). At the moment (09:54:49 ET) West Texas Crude is selling for USD 67.02

    • ςαssαηδяα says:

      Forbes (12/4/14): “Oil Prices – Decline Turned Into Collapse?” http://www.forbes.com/sites/billgreiner/2014/12/04/oil-prices-decline-turned-into-collapse/ “From an economic standpoint, the oil price decline is a mixed blessing. While oil prices have declined by 38%, gasoline prices have declined by 34% over the same period of time. The decline in gasoline prices by 34% acts as a “tax cut” for most consumers, as the amount they spend on gasoline has declined significantly. The average American family spends 4% of their monthly budget on gasoline. If gasoline prices stay at these levels over the next 12 months, the 34% decline in gasoline prices will act as a direct stimulus to consumer discretionary spending, at an expected annualized level of $152 billion dollars, or 0.92% of GDP.
      Meanwhile: The per-barrel price of oil includes a component of what it costs to get the oil from well to market, and for oil produced in Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota, discounts can reach double-digits, which reduces the amount drillers get, and on Nov. 28, North Dakota Bakken oil was bringing less than $50 a barrel. http://www.sltrib.com/home/1904760-155/sub-50-oil-in-ndakota-regional-discounts

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