It’s a life measured out in 18-hour shifts and washed down with 5-hour Energy Drinks and Red Bull, a job on the rigs in North Dakota’s oil boom: three weeks on, two weeks off, in exchange for $100,000 or more a year and the promise of being set up for life.

In an America where 18m are out of work, the chance of finding any job – let alone a well-paid job – exerts an irresistible force that is drawing thousands to North Dakota in a 21st century re-enactment of the Gold Rush.

Only this time, it’s oil. North Dakota now produces more oil than several members of Opec, and many in the industry are predicting America will soon overtake Saudi Arabia and even Russia as the world’s top oil producer.