Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

Conservation fund backers accuse oil lobbyist of ‘dirty tricks’

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks accused an oil lobbying group of using “lies and dirty tricks” to try to defeat Measure 5 on the Nov. 4 ballot. Conservation proponents singled out the American Petroleum Institute, a Washington, D.C., lobbying group that has pumped more than $1 million into the campaign to defeat Measure 5, which would set aside 5 percent of the state oil and gas extraction tax.

Oil refinery in Devils Lake one step closer to reality

City commission approves letter of support for $200 million project
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- A $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day clean fuels oil refinery could be operating near Devils Lake within three years. The refinery, similar to one being built in Dickinson, would employ about 100 people and could create as many as 400 spin-off jobs in the area, according to Rachel Lindstrom, executive director of Forward Devils Lake, the region’s economic development agency. “It’s very exciting for Devils Lake,” she said, “a great opportunity.” Devils Lake City Commission approved a letter of support for the project this week. The refinery is being proposed by Eagles Ledge Energy Ltd., based in Vancouver, B.C., which is working with Triad Engineering Ltd, of Calgary, Alberta.

Truck spills 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel along roadway

ALEXANDER, N.D. -- A part that became dislodged from a fuel truck cut open one of the truck’s tanks, spilling about 3,000 gallons of fuel along a western North Dakota roadway. The drive shaft on a Rolfson Oil truck sheared off, bounced off the pavement and punctured one of its two tanks late Saturday afternoon, according to Kris Roberts, an environmental geologist with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Leaders react to oil poll before crude-heavy session

Carlson: Show us how past money was spent
DICKINSON, N.D. -- Many weren't surprised at recent polling showing roughly half of North Dakotans think oil-producing counties don't get enough oil impact funding to meet the needs. The debate over the west's needs will only heat up as the legislative session nears, when western Republicans will introduce two proposals to aid oil-impacted counties and the oil boom in general will dominate the floor.

Railroads show improvement

Canadian Pacific proposes large merger
FARGO, N.D. — The region’s two Class I railroads — BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway — are reporting improved status on late cars, and CP has proposed a major merger to bypass an infamous Chicago bottleneck blamed for last winter’s delays. BNSF reported 5,695 cars past due in its single car category as of Oct. 10. Of those, 3,706 were in North Dakota and late an average of 12.3 days. The other top states were Montana, with 693 cars late an average of 12.3 days; South Dakota, 470 cars late an average of 5.2 days; and Minnesota, 289 cars late an average of 9.7 days.

Poll: Nearly half of North Dakotans think western counties don’t get enough funding

Respondents in east, west not far apart on opinions
DICKINSON, N.D. -- The majority of North Dakotans, regardless of location or political leaning, think oil-producing counties do not receive enough state oil impact funding to meet their needs, or are unsure, according to a new poll. Roughly half -- 49.7 percent -- of respondents said oil counties do not receive enough funding and 31.9 percent did not respond. That leaves 18.4 percent that said western counties receive enough funding, according to a poll commissioned by Forum Communications Co. and conducted by the University of North Dakota's College of Business and Public Administration.


Banking on trust: State’s constitutional funds balloon in oil boom

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- After tough economic times in the 1980s, North Dakota voters wanted to make sure education funding would be spared by future budget constraints. To that end, they agreed in 1994 to create a fund to cushion the state’s K-12 education funding using oil extraction tax revenue. Today, the size of the Foundation Aid Stabilization fund has ballooned to $473 million and is expected to surpass $1 billion in the next biennium, much more than what state legislators had originally anticipated or now say is necessary, thanks to energy development in western North Dakota.

CNN’s Ling documents women seizing Oil Patch opportunities

CNN’s Ling documents women seizing Oil Patch opportunities

WILLISTON, N.D. -- CNN’s Lisa Ling said when she came to Williston, she was prepared to be cat-called due to the influx of men working in the oilfields of western North Dakota.


FACES OF THE BOOM: BBQ bus adds Southern flavor to small town

FACES OF THE BOOM: BBQ bus adds Southern flavor to small town

RAY, N.D. -- What’s yellow and black, has six tires and a custom-built smoker? It’s Tim Oldham’s school bus-turned-food truck in which he rustles up Southern-style barbecue seven days a week on the outskirts of the small town of Ray in North Dakota’s oil country.


North Dakota ag commissioner proposes pipeline reclamation inspection program

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner said Thursday he will ask the state Legislature for funding for two inspectors to help resolve complaints from landowners, farmers and ranchers unhappy with how their land has been restored around pipelines. Commissioner Doug Goehring, a Republican who faces a stiff challenge in the November election from former state senator Ryan Taylor, said that depending on the season, he receives several calls a month from landowners with concerns about pipeline reclamation, but he doesn’t have time to follow up on all of them.

Williston store may be sign of retail boom

Williston store may be sign of retail boom

WILLISTON, N.D. -- With the opening of their second retail store set for the end of November, brothers Jeff Hafner and Lenny Johnson hope to be on the leading edge of what Williston’s mayor predicts will be the year of retail for the Oil Patch hub. In a part of North Dakota known more for Carhartt than hip fashion, Hafner and Johnson are opening Starboard stores, with clothes and accessories aimed at women, men and children. Hafner and Johnson founded Starboard in 2009 and opened their first store in Dickinson in March 2010 in the Prairie Hills Mall.


Lower oil prices may cool drilling in some areas

BISMARCK, N.D. -- With oil prices on the move, pressure on North Dakota oil and gas production may be mounting. In his monthly update on the state’s energy industry, North Dakota Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said Wednesday that operating costs for oil companies are up significantly from a year ago. Meanwhile, the price of oil has been dropping.

Bakken oilfields may spawn new industry

State politicians forecast more energy, manufacturing plants as well as using CO2 waste from coal facilities
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Working relationships between energy and other industries in North Dakota were touted Tuesday as the future of the state’s economy at the eighth annual Great Plains Empower North Dakota Energy Conference. Politicians, including Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, praised upcoming fertilizer plants that will make agriculture products from natural gas.

$4 billion petrochemical plant planned in N.D.

BISMARCK, N.D. – A company announced plans Monday to build a $4 billion manufacturing plant in North Dakota that will convert a byproduct of natural gas processing into an ingredient for making plastic products, representing what Gov. Jack Dalrymple called the largest private investment in state history. Badlands NGL’s LLC and two partners are developing the facility, which will convert ethane into polyethylene, which is used to make a wide variety of plastics for consumers and industry.

FACES OF THE BOOM: Williston native goes from square bales to drill bits

FACES OF THE BOOM: Williston native goes from square bales to drill bits

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Western North Dakota’s energy boom has lured workers from around the world, but for Kevin Mischke, the oilfields got him off the farm but kept him close to home. Mischke, 39, grew up on a farm and ranch northwest of Williston, played sports, worked on his family’s land and took every chance he got to “get out of having to haul square bales.” A friend of his dad’s asked Mischke to work with him an oil and gas company. With some college courses under his belt, the then 19-year-old thought, “cool, I got a job.” “I started at the bottom and worked my way up to a toolpusher,” Mischke said recalling his 11 years with Nabors.

View More Oil Articles