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Construction on Watford City's Main Street.

Who knows what the future holds for Watford City

By Lydia Gilbertson | Google+

Watford City has seen some of the most dramatic growth of any of the oil boom towns in North Dakota. What years ago was a small, quiet town in rural North Dakota is now a bustling industry town filled with trailers and new developments. Governing.com’s Curtis Johnson is explores the rapid expansion Watford City is facing in his most recent article for the publication.

But geologist Kathy Neset believes this boom will last. She points out that current technology, gee-whiz that it is, is extracting only about 6 percent of the shale oil down there, and that’s enough for 30 years. Plus, in contrast to past booms, this drilling is aimed at something close to a sure thing, with a success rate bordering on 99 percent.

What will Watford City look like in years to come? Will it be a boom or a bust?

What do you think?: Can a North Dakota Oil-Boom Town Survive Success?


  1. Crime and more Crime. What else?

  2. obama is going to impose restrictions on fracking after november election. bust.

  3. They will all be Ghost towns in ten years

  4. Your alot more more optimistic than I am Bill but I pray your right. Obama will have nothing to lose after the fall elections. History has made it clear that second term lame duck presidents do whatever they want without fear of consequences because they have nothing to lose and also because every 8 years americans usually vote for the opposing party. So maybe ghost towns for a year or two but back in business for 7-8 years and then a democrat may come back in and shut it all down again lol

    • Yah, just look at Geo W Bush Needless war over oil,highest unemployment in decades,Reckless Wallstreet in the tank,economy in the tank, no jobs, people losing their homes. seniors and others losing their life savings,No $ left in the gov’t budget and he started with a surplus! This country about went under and GW just went back to his ranch and played golf! Thank God, we got a President now that has turned the corner on all of that madness!!! God help us if we have to ever see that again!!

  5. How I see it.. The drilling will end and pumping will take over about a 30% increase in the original population when it all levels off

  6. Jason Quantz you do know Obama voted to keep fracking regulated at the state level ? Also the Republicans hold the house and will most likely gain the senate in November.

    • Obama also made guns in National Parks legal knowing full well he intended to get rid of all guns so he didn’t care what crumbs he handed out for votes.

  7. Ghost towns or not, they are getting rich out of it before it goes down in years to come.

  8. Not all are getting rich, a lot of people are worse of cense the boom, the elderly, and people who don’t have mineral acres or higher paying oil jobs have to some extent had to suffer threw the high price gouging with everyone else in western N.D.

  9. A slow down can be expected, but it will never bust… As long as people use plastics, drive vehicles, run natural gas, and everything else under the sun….. We will always drill…. It may not be 256 rigs drilling in the state, but until the Bakken came to life, alot of people didnt realize that we were drilling here even after the last ” Bust “.. It may not be million dollar jobs, and traffic like crazy, but Bowman, Rhayme, that whole corner of this state, kept on drilling, out of sight, and out of mind for MILLIONS of people.. With growth, comes pain, and every pain has a cure, sometimes it just takes a little while to figure it out, but when the pain is gone, life continues onward and humans focus on the next issue at hand, to raise a stink about.. I agree the gouging is out of control, but whats the resolution?? Nothing can help us, until our government gets their banannas in a basket.. Washington tried, by raising Min. wage to 15/hr, and look what happened to them.. As long as we keep paying people to sit at home, and refuse to work, our country will never recover from this Economic crisis, that we are in today..

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