For some time, we’d been hearing about it: a massive migration to the post-peak-oil frontier, recession-proof, $20/hr McDonald’s jobs, and gas flares that can be seen from space. We kept hearing about it, reading occasional news clips, and soon enough we were watching YouTube videos about how to get jobs in the oil patch, how to live in a man camp, how to live out of your truck in a Wal-Mart parking lot until you could get a job and score a spot in a man camp; videos of exploding gas well heads, eighteen-wheelers flipped over in pristine snowbanks. All in the endless landscape of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota.

We decided we’d go too.

Published in Manifest: A Journal of the Americas issue 3
Forthcoming July 2021 as CRUDE in Material Cartographies (Routledge), edited by Matthew Seibert