In less than a year, [Oscar] Stohler and his wife, Lorene, 82, have become millionaires from the production of one [oil] well on their land near Dunn Center, a mile or so from the sod home where Oscar grew up. A second well has begun producing on their property and another is being drilled --- all aimed at the Bakken shale formation, a rich deposit [of oil] that the U.S. Geological Survey calls the largest continuous oil accumulation it has ever assessed.Fortunately, this new-found wealth doesn’t seem to be changing these folks:
Landowners in western North Dakota have a much better chance of striking it rich from oil than they do playing the lottery, say the Stohlers. Some of their neighbors in the town of about 120, from bar tenders to Tupperware salespeople, have become “overnight millionaires” from oil royalty payments.
[Mr. Stohler] still drives his old pickup [truck] and wears a mesh farm cap --- but it’s by choice.How sweet. I would say life in North Dakota is just fine.
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Lorene [Stohler] said the only thriftless purchase was an automatic sprinkler system for her flowers that surround the couple’s new home. And Oscar bought a $1000 ring for his wife to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.