April 2015 Summary of Dickinson, North Dakota

You do not want to come to Dickinson, North Dakota, at this time.  There have been many, many jobs that have gone away in the past two months, mostly because of the low price of oil.  The price of oil is so low right now, that the oil companies who own the wells do not want to pump the oil out of the ground.  It had cost the oil companies so much to lease land, clear the well sites, drill the wells 5,000 feet deep, fracture the wells, install the pump jacks, install the tanks, that they can’t even break even on the money they spent unless they can sell the oil for more than about $70 per barrel.  The price of oil right now is about $35 per barrel.

The oil companies who own the wells, not only do not want to pump oil out of the ground right now, they don’t want to drill new wells, they don’t want to fracture new wells that have already been drilled, they don’t want to repair wells that have just started to have problems.  The oil companies don’t want to do anything right now, except wait.

As you might imagine, when the oil companies don’t want to do anything, they let people go.  The oil companies, the drill rig companies, the fracturing companies, the oil field service companies have all let people go.  Many oil field workers have already left North Dakota and have gone home or gone elsewhere.  Because of oil field work slowing down, because of oil field workers going home, retail stores, restaurants, and hotels are less busy, and they will let employees go also.

The price of hotels, apartments, trailer parks, and houses is still very high.  The property owners, property managers, real estate developers, real estate investors, and real estate agents are all trying their best to keep the prices high, even though it is inevitable that prices here will eventually come down greatly.  People in Dickinson will begin to lose their homes to the banks soon because they are unable or unwilling to pay their mortgage.  They may be unwilling to pay their mortgage because the house that they bought for $300,000 is now worth about $150,000, they may owe $250,000 for a house that is worth $150,000.  People will abandon the manufactured homes that they bought because they are unable or unwilling to pay.  Real estate investors and real estate developers will have to sell their properties for low, low prices because they have no other choice but to sell or let the bank take possession.

In order to keep the riff-raff out of Dickinson, the police are very eager to pull over motorists in Dickinson.  Once they stop a motorist, they can check for outstanding warrants, non-payment of child support, driving without a license, driving without insurance, driving under the influence, possession of firearms, possession of a controlled substance, and they would love to make an arrest.  If you have an out-of-state license plate, you have an even greater chance of being stopped.  If you have a construction worker’s truck that is more than a couple of years old, you have greater chance of being stopped.  The police in Dickinson are enforcing a local social decision, they do not want out-of-state workers ruining their town.  If you get stopped in Dickinson, and you are an out-of-state worker, the cost of going to jail, hiring an attorney, and possibly losing your job, and losing your housing,  is going to bankrupt you, you will leave Dickinson poorer than when you got here.

The people in Dickinson are unfriendly and not helpful.  There is no homeless shelter.  There is no cheap campground, they have made sure to end that.  You can not sleep in your car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, you can not sleep in your car in the truck stop parking lots.

The women in Dickinson are unattractive and unfriendly.  There is a shortage of women.  The ratio of men to women is probably 3:1.  There is very little to do in Dickinson for recreation or entertainment.  It is cold here for seven to eight months of the year.  The people here do not like out-of-state workers, they are hostile to them.  The people here are not very friendly or social with each other even.

Please do not come to Dickinson, North Dakota.  If you do, you will only find that what I have written is the truth.

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