Letter to the Editor: Unique experience inspires appreciation for western North Dakota
A number of letter writers have commented on what western North Dakota is like these days. They try to summarize their trip using their experience of driving on U.S. highways 85 and 2 over a day or two.
Sometimes they’re right, but mostly their short trips do not give much insight into what’s happening in the region.
I have a unique perspective on the Bakken. I’m a female studying industrial engineering at North Dakota State University who spent a summer interning for one of the Bakken’s largest companies.
I worked 60-hour weeks on a crew fracking newly-drilled wells. Our teams worked hard; I often was hitting my maximum of 60 hours by Wednesday.
But never was gender a consideration. Rather, our work was about a job done well and on-time.Today, I’m looking forward to returning to the field again next summer.Too many people ask, “What was it like?” They focus too much on the challenges of the region. They don’t understand how the region’s communities are building roads and infrastructure, adding new homes and increasing public safety.Mostly, they don’t understand how rewarding it is to complete a challenging task or to be trusted at a young age with the success of multimillion dollar projects. It is a sense of accomplishment that I’ll enjoy for decades to come in the industry.You see, the people working in western North Dakota come from all walks of life, but all of us share a sense of purpose. Yes, we have great jobs and great wages; but more than that, we know that the Bakken is driving the economy of North Dakota and the nation.We know the Bakken is securing America’s energy supply. And we know the Bakken is building a better future for North Dakota and America.