Tag Archives: what is going to happen to Dickinson North Dakota

Everyone In Dickinson Needs To Start Reading Google News Stories

For the past eight years I have struggled to understand the mechanisms at work which cause things to happen in Dickinson, North Dakota.  It has been difficult for me to read what is reported in the Dickinson Press newspaper, and try to figure out the origin of these events well enough to be able to have an overall understanding of what is happening, and why.  My goal was to know what was going to happen, ahead of time.

I mentioned a month or two ago that I realized that I had relied too much on the Dickinson Press newspaper for my information.  There was so much more being reported elsewhere that the people in Dickinson really needed to know.  They could have been much better prepared for what was to come.

For instance, it was never pointed out to me by the Dickinson Press that one of the largest locally operating oil companies, Whiting Petroleum, had a stock price decline from $370/share in 2014 to $1.37/share recently in 2020.  This was something that we all needed to know in Dickinson.  Whiting Petroleum is one of the biggest employers in Dickinson, and many people in Dickinson receive oil revenue payments from Whiting Petroleum oil wells located on their property.

This morning I read on Google News Stories, that Whiting Petroleum has just declared bankruptcy, and their stock price went down to 37 cents/share:



Google, especially on people’s mobile phones, provides the top five or six news stories of the moment, that are most relevant to where you are located.  For me, a dozen times per day, when I look at Google on my mobile phone, they have oil industry news stories from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and many other oil industry journals.

Every day in this past month of March 2020, I have been reading in-depth expert analysis of international events, OPEC, Texas oil associations, Canadian oil industry and transport, U.S. legislation, Canadian legislation, oil company stock market price trends, oil company financial statements and loan debt, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, etcetera.  All of their indicators and predictions have foretold what eventually happened a few days or a few weeks later.

These very large news agencies have the budgets to allow highly intelligent journalists/investigators/analysts to devote all of their time to focusing solely on the energy industry, stock market trends, government legislation, and so forth.

Sometimes this is not easy reading, it is too complicated or incorrectly supposes some expertise on the part of the reader.  Fortunately, there are usually several different news agencies or industry journals that cover the exact same topic on the same day.

For at least two months, oil industry analysts have been pointing out that Whiting Petroleum had a huge loan debt, something like $2.2 billion, that was way out of proportion to both the revenue and the net worth of Whiting.  Much of this debt was becoming due in 2020, this was one of the main reasons why the stock price of Whiting dropped to $1.37 per share in March, that plus the price of oil dropping to $20 per barrel, and the coronavirus shut down of the economy.

The oil industry analysts have been going through the financial statements of all of the large and small oil companies.  It turns out, that nearly all of the oil companies involved in fracking over the last ten years, have spent and borrowed way more money than they have earned.  All of the oil companies involved in fracking had the belief that as long as they kept drilling new wells, eventually they would have a large enough revenue stream to pay off all of their debt, but that never actually happened for any of these companies, they all made this same mistake.

The price of oil dropping to $20 per barrel, the oversupply of oil that exists, the coronavirus shutting down the economy, has made everyone in the oil industry stop and look at what they are doing.  It is now universally realized, that the oil companies can’t continue doing what they have been doing.  Because of this, the stock price of two of the largest oil companies operating in this area, Continental Resources and Marathon Oil, have also dropped greatly.



What only a few journalists/investigators/analysts are writing about, is the oil company disaster that is coming if and when the Democrats ever win the Presidency, and a majority in the House or Senate.  The Democrats have said that they want to ban fracking, which is the only way to retrieve North Dakota oil.  Additionally, the Democrats may even initiate gigantic lawsuits seeking damages and reparations for supposed environmental damage caused by the fracking oil companies such as Continental Resources, Marathon Oil, Whiting Petroleum, and many others. How could all of these oil companies not go bankrupt with a ban on fracking and these lawsuits?

The future of Dickinson, North Dakota is being told by these daily Google News Stories.  The people here don’t have to be in the dark about what is going to happen.

The People In Dickinson Don’t Know What They Are Going To Experience

Since moving to downtown Dickinson a couple of months ago, I have been able to ride my bicycle more than when I was living outside of town north of Dickinson.  Now, it is easy for me to ride my bicycle to the Post Office, grocery store, hardware store, and restaurants.

While zigzagging my way through the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson on my bicycle, I had a chance to pay more attention to the houses than when I was driving.  I was sorry that I hadn’t noticed before how many interesting old houses there are in downtown Dickinson.

I wanted to take photographs of some of the old homes in downtown Dickinson.  I thought that it would be easier and safer for me to do this on a bicycle ride, rather than driving one of my vehicles.  I was aware that it would probably upset a homeowner if they saw someone taking a photograph of their home, and that no amount of explaining would make it O.K. with them.  I tried to think of the best time for me to photograph without upsetting anyone, but there really was no best time.

On this past Sunday afternoon when I went on a bicycle ride in order to take photographs, I found that the inhabitants of the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson didn’t even like me riding through their neighborhoods.  They were watching me with suspicion even before I came to a stop and took out my camera.  From the way that they were behaving, I sensed that photographing someone’s home half a block away from them would have caused some of these residents to go berserk.  I had to pass by many nice homes without being able to photograph them.

I tried to look at it from their point of view.  There have been a lot of thefts from garages and vehicles in downtown Dickinson.  The thefts are probably committed by scraggly meth addicts on foot and on bicycles.  I can understand this, I have felt the same way about passersby in the places that I have lived.

There was really nothing that I could say or do to not make these homeowners uncomfortable.  They would have been just as suspicious or even more suspicious if they saw me come to a stop in front of their house in a vehicle, take photographs, and then drive off.  I understand that they are concerned about their house, their possessions, and what is going on.

Later on Sunday, I went on another bike ride for exercise and for something to do.  This time I rode through the blue collar worker, lower middle class neighborhoods just beyond the oldest downtown neighborhoods.  The residents of these blue collar neighborhoods acted suspicious of me too, and as if they didn’t like me riding through their neighborhoods.  It seemed like these blue collar workers were probably just as concerned about their new expensive vehicles, as they were about their homes and other belongings.

In the old downtown neighborhoods, and in the blue collar neighborhoods, I got the impression that the homeowners are proud of what they have, protective of what they have, and fearful of losing any of what they have.  So much so, that even a person riding by on a bicycle is a threat to them.

I believe that these homeowners don’t know what is going to happen in Dickinson.  From my reading and learning about what happened in Dickinson during the oil boom of the 1950s, and the oil boom of the late 1970s, these two previous oil booms each lasted about eight years, and after they were over, there were massive job losses, jobs were scarce, jobs were low wage, housing prices dropped by 60%, and people walked away from their houses because they owed so much more than their houses were worth.

In Dickinson, the retirees and the people who were planning on retiring, to live off a combination of savings, investments, social security, and pensions, these people will be O.K.   The non-retired homeowners with mortgages and expensive vehicle payments, they will not be O.K.  These people will have a difficult time making their monthly payments because they may lose their job, or their wages will become lower and lower.  At the same time they are having difficulty making their monthly payments, they will find that they still owe $140,000 on their house, and it is now worth $100,000.

House payments of $1,100 to $1,600 per month on a house that is worth way less than you owe, truck payments of $900 to $1,100 per month on a truck that is worth less than you owe.  And the best job you can get, if you are lucky, take home pay is $2,500 per month.  I don’t think that the people in Dickinson know what is going to happen.