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Image via Andrew Shay

There’s been plenty of press about how North Dakota’s oil boom is affecting long-time residents of the area, but most of us know little about the day-to-day life of the thousands of workers who have flocked to the state to work in the oil fields.

This morning, Bob Collins of Minnesota Public Radio directs us to the blog of Andrew Shay, a 24-year-old Minneapolis man who has moved to a “man camp” in Williston, North Dakota to work for Halliburton.

Shay’s blog, titled “I Am Here,” reads a bit like a wartime memoir. As one would expect, the hours are long, the work arduous, but there’s also the challenge of filling downtime and dealing with more mundane tasks, like learning the math to convert cubic feet into barrels.

In a posting from earlier this week, Shay describes a trip into Williston to stock up on supplies:

Things are wild here. Everyone’s looking back, or forward; talking about the good days’ or talking about how they are gonna spend there cash when they get home. Every dude that we trained with has been out to the field so far; I think we are some of the last ones to get out. The guys who i trained with offered good advice, and wish me luck; but most of them just say; be safe. And I guess that’s the key; be safe.

Curious about what it’s like inside these massive dorms? EnergyNOW took a look inside back in November:

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.