There is a proverbial “gold rush” in the Bakken Formation, a large hydrocarbon deposit that lies under portions of North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan, so much so that oil & gas drilling equipment suppliers are having trouble meeting demand, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources.

Reporting from the Bakken Infrastructure Finance & Development Summit in Denver, Industrial Info says sentiment at the conference is that there are significant business opportunities surrounding the Bakken Formation in traditional infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants, and wastewater treatment plants, as well as energy projects like gas processing projects and compressor stations.

Beyond the demand for equipment, Industrial Info says there is not nearly enough skilled craft labor to meet the demand created by extensive oil & gas drilling in the Bakken Formation. North Dakota, for example, has an unemployment rate of about 2.7 percent as the boom around oil & gas drilling projects over the past few years has produced jobs in all segments of the local economy.

The rush to extract oil & gas from the Bakken is even benefiting North Dakota”s unskilled laborers. Industrial Info says one speaker at the conference told attendees that a local Burger King was offering new hires about $11 per hour in salary, plus signing bonuses of up to $1,200. The demand for consumer goods is reportedly so voracious that some retailers don”t bother setting up fancy displays of goods, as shoppers descend on merchandise so fast that clerks no longer bother taking the goods off pallets.

For the full Industrial Info report on this story, click here (registration required).