A pumpjack stands on the North Dakota prairie. The number of drilling rigs in the Bakken oil field has fallen to a six-year low, eliminating a lot of jobs servicing the rigs.
A pumpjack stands on the North Dakota prairie. The number of drilling rigs in the Bakken oil field has fallen to a six-year low, eliminating a lot of jobs servicing the rigs. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

The collapse of global oil prices is helping to show stock markets the way down. Over the last year, the industry that's taken the biggest hit is energy. Every company in the energy sector of Standard & Poor's 500 index is now at least 10 percent below its peak, and some much more.

The drop has been hard on the people working for those companies, too. The way to deal with too much oil is to stop drilling for it, after all. A lot of those people are relative newcomers to North Dakota who moved there to work in the Bakken oil field.

Steve Brown is one of them. He moved to the Bakken at its peak and started hauling water to oil rigs. Now the rig count is the lowest in six years. 

Click the above media player to hear the interview with Steve Brown. 


Melby's story is part of a series called "Black Gold Boom," an initiative of Prairie Public and the Association of Independents in Radio.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Todd Melby at @@toddmelby