Posts Tagged ‘drilling rig’

Oil Country: A View From The Air

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Take a tour of oil country with photographer Ben Garvin.

You may also listen to an interview with Ben on the audio player (above). To view the photos full screen, click on the rectangle in the bottom right-hand corner of one of the photographs.

Photo by Ben Garvin

Ben Garvin's Bakken Aerials

Peace and Quiet

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents lived on this piece of land in McKenzie County, North Dakota. And now she does.

Years ago, when oil company representatives first knocked on her door asking for permission to drill, she welcomed them. But in the years since the boom exploded, she’s had second thoughts.

Story by Todd Melby

Photo by Ben Garvin

Made possible by a grant from the North Dakota Humanities Council

Wes St. Jon: The Oilfield Cowboy

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Interview and Photo by Todd Melby

Did you ever wonder what a toolpusher, roustabout or derrick hand does on an oil rig?

Wes St. Jon, also known as “The Oilfield Cowboy,” aims to tell you. Wes is a singer/songwriter from Nashville who fell in love with the oil industry while living in Oklahoma and Louisiana. He got to know roughnecks, truckers and others folks in the business. They taught him how things worked. And he wrote songs about it.

In this interview with Black Gold Boom’s Todd Melby, Wes sings a whole bunch of oilfield classics, including “Redneck Roughneck,” “An Oilfield Man’s Wife,” “Fracin’ The Hole” and “The Story of the Derrick Man, Toolpusher, Roustabout, Roughneck, Driller and The Company Man.” That last one explains the jobs.

In this music video we made with Wes, he sings about the ups and downs of oilfield life. It’s called “Boom or Bust.”

More information is available on his Oilfield Cowboy website.

Roughneck Family [video]

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Tait Salzer has been working on a drilling rig for less than a year. Still, he says the guys he works with are family.

Photo and video by Ben Garvin


A Rig Will Make You or Break You [video]

Monday, August 20th, 2012

William Scherf, an oil roughneck, says working on a drilling rig will “make you or break you.” Find out why in this Black Gold Boom video by Ben Garvin.

Correction: The city mentioned at the beginning of this video is Watford City, not Watford. Black Gold Boom regrets the error.

From Worm’s Corner To The Corner Office

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

David Unkenholz works as a trust officer in Watford City, North Dakota. Many of his customers are ranchers with new oil wealth. Before he sported a tie at work, Unkenholz labored on a drilling rig. Well, for a while anyway. He spent one month working the night shift in worm’s corner, the lowest, dirtiest job on a drilling rig. The experience inspired him to enroll at the University of North Dakota, where he earned two degrees, a bachelor’s degree and a law degree.

Audio portrait by Todd Melby

Photo by Todd Melby