The obvious thing would be to build new houses, but property developers are unwilling to invest because they don’t know how long the shale boom will last. He recalls 2008, when the economic crash led to a collapse in the price of oil. “Everything just stopped right then. This was a ghost town. The oil companies put all leasing on hold.
“Everything that you see, all this wealth, is predicated on oil being above $72 a barrel. If it drops below that, all new development will stop,” he says, grinning. “We’ve been through it all before.”