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Following the work RV lots experience effects of oil slowdown

DICKINSON, N.D. -- When drilling in the Bakken was at its height and people flooded the area from across the country to take jobs, houses and apartments were in high demand. Costs climbed as a result.

House adds its OK to oil tax changes

BISMARCK – A bill to reform North Dakota’s oil taxes is on its way to the governor’s desk, but questions remain about the implications to the state’s oil tax sharing agreement with the Three Affiliated Tribes.

Senate approves changing oil taxes

BISMARCK – Senate lawmakers voted 32-15 late Thursday in favor of lowering the oil extraction tax and removing price-based tax breaks after three hours of vigorous debate.

Bakken boom gets TV treatment in ‘Boomtowners’

Bakken boom gets TV treatment in ‘Boomtowners’

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Creators of a new TV show say the goal was to extract the essence of the biggest oil drilling boom in North America.

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The west wins more oil tax revenue

BISMARCK – Senate and House lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill designed to send a greater share of oil tax revenue to areas of western North Dakota strained by the impacts of oil development.

Whiting Petroleum works to mitigate fire losses

Whiting Petroleum works to mitigate fire losses

RURAL KEENE, N.D. — Thousands of acres of scorched earth northwest of Keene are evidence of how quickly an oil well flare fire can damage ranch grass and miles of fence line. It’s also evidence, at least in this case, how quickly an oil company can step up to mitigate the damage done.

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Cities rely on past experiences to navigate drop in oil prices, but some feel the effects more than others

Cities rely on past experiences to navigate drop in oil prices, but some feel the effects more than others

DICKINSON, ND.-- As oil production wanes and prices fall, communities across the country are feeling the effects -- either directly or indirectly -- of the latest industry slowdown.

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Oil production down for second straight month

Oil production down for second straight month

WILLISTON, N.D. – North Dakota oil production fell 1.2 percent in February, the first time since 2011 that the state has seen back-to-back drops in monthly oil production. Low oil prices have prompted operators to postpone bringing new wells online, a trend that’s expected to continue until June, Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said Tuesday. The state produced an average of just under 1.18 million barrels of oil per day in February, according to preliminary figures. At the end of February, there were a record 900 wells waiting for fracking crews, an increase of 75 from the previous month, Helms estimates. Production is expected to decline by 1 or 2 percent for the months of March, April and May. But on June 1, a state tax incentive known as the “large trigger” could take effect and contribute to an increase in production.

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Leak detection to be studied more in pipeline safety bill

BISMARCK, N.D. – House lawmakers voted 91-1 Tuesday to enhance the regulation of gathering pipelines, but language that would have required leak-detection technology was stripped from the bill. House Bill 1358 builds on what lawmakers approved two years ago when the state first decided to begin regulating more than 20,000 miles of gathering pipelines that transport oil, saltwater and other liquids.

Gas flare suspected as cause of McKenzie County fire

Gas flare suspected as cause of McKenzie County fire

KEENE, N.D. – Local officials point to a natural gas flare as the likely cause of a grass fire that scorched about 3,000 acres in McKenzie County this week. McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Rockvoy and Keene Fire Chief John Rolfsrud both attribute the fire that started about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to a nearby oil well that was flaring.

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Apartment vacancies an indication of the oil slowdown

Apartment vacancies an indication of the oil slowdown

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Large signs posted on the sides of apartment buildings or staked on patches of grass, reading "rooms available" and "for rent," are prevalent at many Dickinson complexes. The signs are a representation of tenants leaving because of the oil slowdown, which has slashed jobs and cut employee hours.

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North Dakota oil production down in February

WILLISTON, N.D. – Low oil prices prompted North Dakota oil production to drop 1.2 percent in February to just under 1.18 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Tuesday. Operators are postponing completion work because of low oil prices, Director Lynn Helms wrote in his monthly update.

On Bakken’s fringe, business owners needing to get creative

On Bakken’s fringe, business owners needing to get creative

Drilling on hold, but couple still seeing enough traffic
FORTUNA, N.D. – When an Arizona couple opened up a bar and dorm-style lodging for oilfield workers last year in far northwest North Dakota, the bar was packed and the rooms were booked solid. But as low oil prices prompted drilling to slow in the fringe areas of the Bakken like the Fortuna area in Divide County, many of their customers left the region. The number of rooms being rented in the renovated Fortuna school building they call the Old School Center is down by about half from before Christmas. The bar – they named it the Teachers Lounge – still has some busy nights, but they now order 40 to 45 cases of beer from one vendor instead of 88.

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Oil communities weather latest slowdown

Cities rely on past experiences to navigate drop in oil prices, but some feel the effects more than others
DICKINSON, ND.-- As oil production wanes and prices fall, communities across the country are feeling the effects -- either directly or indirectly -- of the latest industry slowdown. From Alaska to Texas, oil hubs have adopted measures to weather the volatility of the crude industry -- but while some cities have had to trim budgets and put projects on hold, others say they have yet to see any major impacts from the slowdown. Even Dickinson, on the fringes of the Bakken, hasn’t been immune. Communities across western North Dakota have had to adjust to lower-than-anticipated state funding after amendments were made to both a surge bill to speed up projects in the Oil Patch this year and the oil tax formula bill.

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What's Next: When out of a job, the choice of staying or leaving

What's Next: When out of a job, the choice of staying or leaving

DICKINSON, N.D. -- For about six months after moving to Dickinson in August, Djorboah Mensah had good work at a Dickinson motel, cleaning rooms often filled with oilfield workers by the block. But as oil prices dropped, companies laid off employees, and fewer and fewer workers needed places to sleep. Mensah lost his job in January. "When it picks up they will call me," he said.

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