I have stated several times that the purpose of this blog is to provide useful, truthful information about Dickinson, North Dakota, so that people from out-of-state will know what Dickinson is like, and so that people in Dickinson can see what other people think about Dickinson. Later, one of the things that I was trying to accomplish with this blog, was to point out some of the bad things about Dickinson so that they might be changed. Then, I just went ahead and started trying to change things myself by writing some blog posts such as “Helpful Advice to Women in Dickinson”, for instance. I was trying to be helpful, I am trying to be helpful.
I found something that probably everybody in the United States should read, the WordPress website titled “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”. I mean it, not just people in North Dakota, or people thinking about moving to North Dakota, everybody in the United States should read it. The reason why I say this, is because this website explains the historical relationship between the demand for oil, the price of oil, the exploration for oil, and the production of oil in North Dakota. The creator of this website collected the most insightful and accurate newspaper articles about oil production in North Dakota from the past 65 years.
“A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota” does not contain speculation, or opinions from the website creator, it presents articles from the past, that were recording what was happening at that time, or what had already happened in North Dakota. There have been three different boom periods of oil production in North Dakota: the exploration and discovery boom in the 1950s, the oil price boom of the late 1970s, and the technology boom beginning about 2005.
The articles in the website explain at particular points in history, what the price of oil was, what oil exploration was going on, what oil production followed, the wealth that was created, the influx of people that occurred, and then the eventual decrease in oil production. Again, I want to reiterate, the oil boom and bust occurred in North Dakota in the 1950s, then again in the late 1970s, this is completely documented by the newspaper articles in the WordPress website “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”.
The old newspaper articles state that the oil boom in North Dakota in the late 1970s came to an end because the price of oil dropped. The oil prices are given through that time period. Other old newspaper articles tell about the population of Dickinson, North Dakota going from 16,000 to 22,000, the struggle to build housing and infrastructure, and then the population going back to 16,000, leaving Dickinson with $25 million in debt.
I was surprised and amazed to see that the newspaper articles from the 1980s, that describe the boom and bust that occurred from about 1978 to 1984, describe almost exactly what happened here from 2005 to right now. I didn’t know. Nobody told me. Who else knew?
I guess I am not the smartest person. But how in the world did Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Occidental build these huge buildings in Dickinson in 2012, and not know that they were at the end of the boom to bust cycle? How did all of the large property developers that built about 1,000 new housing units in Dickinson in 2012, 2013, and 2014 not know that they were at the end of the boom to bust cycle?
I believe that I wrote somewhere in my blog, about being at the right place, at the right time, like Phoenix in the 1970s, or Tampa in the 1980s, where there was uninterrupted growth and expansion for the next thirty years. Who knew? I guess that there were some people that saw things clearly: warm climate, year-round activity, inexpensive property, easy to develop, vast amount of land available, no limit to expansion. I thought that I would have liked to have arrived in Williston or Dickinson in about 2007, that would have been a great time to get here I thought. After reading the website “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”, I realized that not only did you have to get to North Dakota at the right time, you would also have to have known when to get out.