National Geographic : 2013 Mar
40 national geographic • March 2013 Below: Roughnecks stand on a deck and remove two miles of heavy steel drilling pipe, one 32-foot section at a time, as oil and natural gas spew from the well. The hard, dangerous work on oil rigs pays up to $120,000 a year. Top right: Susan Connell, who calls herself a “badass trucker,” transfers salt water from her 18-wheeler to a waste-disposal tank on the site where the water will be injected into the ground. Unlike Connell, most women here work in service industries. Bottom right: The Minnesota man under the sheet, who’d been suffering from pneumonia, collapsed and died outside a Watford City gas station. The population explosion has driven up medical emergencies and crime, overwhelming services.