Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

Plans for oil refinery revealed

Proposed facility near Devils Lake would produce 20,000 barrels per day
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- A Canadian energy company unveiled plans Monday for a $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day clean fuels oil refinery that could be built near Devils Lake. At a standing-room only meeting held Monday at Lake Region State College, residents turned out to listen to officials from Eagles Ledge Energy, based in Vancouver, B.C., discuss details of the refinery. In a question and answer session following the presentation, residents sounded off with a number seeming in favor of the project. “I look forward to it,” resident Angela Mikkelson said. “I think it’s a great thing for Devils Lake, for our schools, our health care, our businesses that are already in town, restaurants, hotels. It’s going to do a lot for our community.” Others weren’t convinced quite yet.

Centralized pipeline info a good first step, landowners say

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Landowners trying to help smooth relations between pipeline companies and property owners say a new Easement Information Center launched Tuesday by the North Dakota Petroleum Council is a good first step. Landowners Troy Coons, of Mountrail County, and Daryl Dukart, of Dunn County, were part of a right-of-way task force that met over several months to talk about easement problems and ways to solve them. Festering issues and landowner fatigue are causing lengthy delays in pipeline projects. Petroleum Council spokeswoman Tessa Sandstrom said pipeline companies say it's taking from 90 to 180 days to get easements signed.

RELATED CONTENT

FACES OF THE BOOM: Teacher welcomes new faces, diversity to reservation school

FACES OF THE BOOM: Teacher welcomes new faces, diversity to reservation school

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- On a recent day in Camarilla Hunter’s sixth-grade class, rainbow-colored candy made math a whole lot sweeter and fun for her students. “When can we eat the Skittles?” a boy interjected, as Hunter, 35, explained the goal of their assignment was to find the fraction, decimal and percent for each color in their small bag of candy. It was all in a day’s teaching for the third-year educator at New Town Middle School on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota. Earlier in the school day the students learned about the U.S. presidents playing bingo and practiced their English skills by writing pen pal postcards.

RELATED CONTENT

MDU eyes Minot area for second diesel refinery

MDU eyes Minot area for second diesel refinery

BISMARCK, N.D. – Developers of a nearly completed diesel refinery near Dickinson are eyeing the Minot area as the potential site for a similar plant. John Stumpf, senior vice president of business development for WBI Energy Inc., said the second refinery would process about 20,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day, the same capacity as the Dakota Prairie Refining LLC facility near Dickinson. “Minot’s a little different situation, but the demand for diesel up there is even stronger than it is here,” Stumpf said in an interview Thursday at the Dickinson refinery.

RELATED CONTENT

Williston downtown business group has major plans for downtown

Williston downtown business group has major plans for downtown

WILLISTON, N.D. -- With an influx of new stores, the growing Williston Downtowners Association has big plans. Two years ago, the association started with five members. Now the group has 60 members, with plans for a new look for the downtown and several special events and studies in the works to make it a destination point. Karissa Kjos, the association’s newly hired executive director, said the original members formed the organization to create a united vision for the area as oil production brought an influx of new business.

RELATED CONTENT

New tribal leader seeks partnerships to solve oil issues

New tribal leader seeks partnerships to solve oil issues

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- With just two weeks in office, newly elected Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox is seeking a partnership with state and federal governments to tackle issues facing the tribe, a strategy, he says, the previous administration was not apt to do. In a meeting with Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday, after a celebratory ribbon cutting for a new bypass that diverts traffic around New Town, Fox said the two discussed topics ranging from infrastructure needs to traffic concerns and the rising crime on the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in northwest North Dakota.

RELATED CONTENT

Keystone XL bill fails in Senate by one vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chanting and Native American song rang through the Senate chambers after a bill to congressionally approve the Keystone XL pipeline failed Tuesday afternoon. The bill, which would have taken the decision to approve the controversial pipeline out of President Barack Obama's hands, failed 59-41. The legislation was just one vote short of getting the 60 votes needed to pass. All 45 Republicans voted to approve the bill. Keystone XL would transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S. Gulf energy hub.

Bypass takes truck traffic on New Town’s Main Street

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- New Town Mayor Dan Uran said things are looking up after a bypass opened Monday, the fourth such project in North Dakota’s Oil Patch to be completed this fall. “It’s a good day for the city of New Town. We’ll get rid of a lot of traffic on Main Street, and people will be able to walk across the street,” he said.

Groundwater study shows no contamination to North Dakota water supplies

RESTON, Va. -- Random sampling of shallow groundwater in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota and Montana shows no early evidence of contamination from the region’s energy development, according to a federal study.

Quantum drops Billings as site for refinery

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Quantum Energy Inc. has apparently dropped a Billings, Mont., site from its plans to build refineries in Montana and North Dakota. The Arizona company is planning to develop up to five refineries designed to produce diesel fuel from Bakken crude oil.

Casselton residents worried by oil-train derailments near town; BNSF blames broken rail this time

Casselton residents worried by oil-train derailments near town; BNSF blames broken rail this time

CASSELTON, N.D. – Thinking about the trains that derailed on Thursday just west of town, Kari Plantz, like many in town, will remind you it’s the second derailment within a year. “It’s kind of scary because I do day care here,” she said from her front door, about 200 feet from the railroad tracks. Still, Lil Peeps, like all licensed day cares, has a plan to evacuate all children to a safe house across town, she said. No one in the area has been harmed by either derailment, but they were unnerving to people because both involved oil-tanker cars.

RELATED CONTENT

Sout Dakota senator’s ancestors helped build Mitchell to Rapid City railroad

MITCHELL, S.D. -- More than 100 years in the making, the railroad life of U.S. Sen. John Thune’s family has come full circle. In 1906, the Republican senator’s grandfather and great-uncle helped build the railroad that currently is known as the Mitchell-Rapid City line. "It's neat to see the history in my family and how they got to this country, and it was all kind of around the railroad and the railroad right in this area," Thune, one of the GOP leaders in the Senate, said this week. "It's nice to see us rebuilding those lines that they helped lay almost 110 years ago. We're just honored to be a part of it."

FACES OF THE BOOM: Stanley couple’s retail store risk pays off

FACES OF THE BOOM: Stanley couple’s retail store risk pays off

STANLEY, N.D. -- In 1996, Ruth and Robert “Hod” Hysjulien took a risk despite a flat economy in their small western North Dakota town. Open in time for that year’s holiday shopping season, Prairie Outfitters, their 3,600-square-foot retail store on Stanley’s Main Street, was a hit. “We had a great Christmas. We were all amazed,” Ruth said. Back then, the couple was unaware the future was even brighter for their town of about 1,300 — that by 2010, store sales would see a 300 percent increase.

RELATED CONTENT

Two trains involved in derailment near Casselton

CASSELTON, N.D. – For the second time in under a year, two BNSF Railway trains have derailed just west of here. “Welcome to Casselton, again,” is how Casselton Fire Chief Tim McLean greeted reporters at a news conference following Thursday night’s incident.

Last defendant in meth ring sentenced

BISMARCK -- The last member of a Williston-based drug trafficking organization was sentenced on Monday to 17 years in prison. Brian Scott Dahl, 51, of Williston was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon.

View More Oil Articles