Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

‘Overnighters’ screens in Williston

‘Overnighters’ screens in Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Filmmaker Jesse Moss wanted to tell the big story of life in Williston during an epic oil boom. Instead, he would be drawn to a local pastor who opened up his home and church to workers migrating from across the country in pursuit of black gold and the riches that flow from it. Moss said he filmed “The Overnighters” in a “cinema verite” style, witnessing the lives of Pastor Jay Reinke of Concordia Lutheran Church, his family, flock and homeless guests unfolding before him — a fly on the wall.

RELATED CONTENT

Pipeline fatigue hits landowners who aim for more oversight

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Ranchers say they don’t have time to chase cattle because a pipeline crew cut the pasture fence. Nor do they have time to repair equipment damaged from crossing a sunken pipeline trench. Those problems are giving surface owners a condition called “pipeline fatigue,” and many say they are so tired of dealing with poor reclamation and inconsiderate contractors that they’re starting to say “no” to more pipelines altogether.

North Dakota oil conditioning standards will have flexibility, Helms says

Industrial Commission may consider standards next month
BISMARCK, N.D. – New standards for conditioning North Dakota crude oil to make it safer for shipment will provide flexibility and could come up for approval next month, the state’s top oil and gas regulator said Monday.

FACES OF THE BOOM: Musician tries to capture life in the Bakken

FACES OF THE BOOM: Musician tries to capture life in the Bakken

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Keesha Renna is drawn to stories, and in her adopted city of Williston, the tales of struggle, heartache and loneliness are boundless. Intrigued by a story she read on North Dakota’s fracking boom in Harper’s Magazine more than a year ago, Renna first landed in Minot for a few months, then moved to Williston in September 2013. Armed with a degree in anthropology, a stint as a bartender and three years as a music promoter, the 27-year-old from Boise, Idaho, is hoping her musical take on the Bakken will reflect the many perspectives she has experienced in “one of the most pivotal moments in my time.”

RELATED CONTENT

Energy boom raises stakes in PSC races

BISMARCK, N.D. -- One of the state’s largest oil spills, a fiery train derailment and an energy boom that shows no signs of slowing have raised the profile of the state Public Service Commission. The PSC regulates a variety of industries in North Dakota, including electric and gas utilities, telecommunications, railroads, grain elevators and pipeline safety. Two Democratic candidates challenging for seats on the PSC are urging greater pipeline oversight, saying their opponents are behind the curve when making decisions.

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.

RELATED CONTENT

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.

RELATED CONTENT

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.

RELATED CONTENT

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.

View More Oil Articles