Friday, August 29, 2014

Port Of Vancouver (Washington State) Inks Deal With North Dakota Department Of Agriculture -- August 29, 2014; Man-Camps Going Up-Scale

I thought I posted this story linked at another site, but I guess I didn't. I think I wrote it up, and then decided to delete it. There were reasons for deleting it, but now a reader sends me another link on the same story, with a bit more background. The Columbian is reporting:
Aiming to boost trade between North Dakota and the Pacific Rim, the Port of Vancouver has launched a new venture of leasing rail cars to move agricultural products to the West Coast.
The port's executive director, Todd Coleman, traveled to Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday to sign a memorandum of understanding with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to move the program forward.
Rail cars carrying steel pipe, aluminum ore and other oil-industry equipment from the port to North Dakota now often return to the port empty. Under the agreement, rail cars leased by the port will return west filled with wheat, corn, soybeans and other crops. The rail cars would then be offloaded and put into ships bound for Asia and Latin America.

About five minutes ago, I mentioned that it is literally impossible to keep up with everything going on in the Bakken. There are now weekly periodicals devoted only to the Bakken.

One digression: boy, this is amazing -- I'm blogging from a coffee shop on Main Street in Williston. I mentioned earlier that one of the biggest changes I've seen this visit has been the change in demographics in Williston since my last visit: I am seeing lots of children; young, single women; families; couples. (This would lead to another digression on how the "wild, wild West" was transformed but I can't keep getting off on tangents.) What leads me to this digression: at a nearby table are six women, mostly 25 to 30, but one 40-ish-year-old woman. The group appears to be led by a woman in her mid-20's, possibly late 20's, clearly with an MBA background. Her ethnicity is interesting: she may have a tinge of Asian. They are working some business issues; if they are in the Bakken, it must have to do with oil and gas. A huge truck is now stopped in front of the window, here on Main Street, loaded with 3-inch polyethylene tubing, no doubt for the huge infrastructure project on south Main. Two more young women, individually, have stopped by, gotten their coffee and are heading for work. I do believe there were more women visiting the coffee shop this morning than men.

But back to what I had planned to post. This is from Market Watch  -- and now another young woman enters the coffee shop -- again, this is such a change from last year -- so a national web site notes htis: "Airgas opens new location in Dickinson, North Dakota, to service Bakken shale oil region."
Airgas, Inc. one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today announced that it has recently opened a new location in Dickinson, North Dakota, significantly enhancing its local product and service capabilities for customers in the Bakken shale oil region. 
n addition to core industrial gases, welding-related equipment and safety supplies for in-store purchase or local delivery, customers in the region can now more easily access Airgas’ unrivaled national capabilities at a local level – from Red-D-Arc’s rental welders and power generation equipment to Airgas Specialty Gases’ complex hydrocarbon blends for BTU measurement and process stream analysis to the expertise of Airgas’ product and process specialists. Airgas On-Site Safety Services, which specializes in safety monitoring, certification, and equipment rental services at customer sites in the oilfield and construction industries, also serves customers through Airgas’ new Dickinson location. 
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. 

And now, four people in line for coffee: three women, one man. Yes, the demographics in the Bakken are changing. And they all have smiling faces. Seldom is a discouraging word heard in the Bakken.

It Never Quits

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
Due largely to the success of its man camps in places like North Dakota’s Bakken oil field, Reliant Asset Management was named the third fastest growing private business by Inc. Magazine.
Businesses can apply to be part of the magazine’s annual list. Those accepted to the 2014 list had the highest growth in revenue from 2010 to 2013, said Reliant co-founder Barry Roman.

Reliant is based in Arlington, Va., but has eight man camps in North Dakota, as well as camps in Alberta and Texas. Man camps now account for two-thirds of Reliant’s business nationwide and in Canada. The 1,300 beds the company has in the state account for 30 percent of its rooms.
“The crew camps as you know them have really changed in North Dakota,” Roman said. “You’re not going to see 200 to 500 guys sleeping in the same building.”
Roman said many oil related companies are not paying for living and travel expenses like they were two years ago. He said now many are compensating their workers per diem to incentivize them to move and live in North Dakota. Because of this, he said Reliant’s more cabin-like camps are becoming popular.
I noticed the same this trip. The man-camps are a'changing. Going more upscale. 

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