BISMARCK – A Bismarck-based engineering firm hired to study the future impacts of North Dakota’s oil and gas industry came under fire Tuesday from a Grand Forks Democrat who blasted the company for not sharing information with lawmakers.
ST. PAUL -- Western North Dakota's oil boom puts Minnesota in a dangerous position, a key Minnesota lawmaker says, and the state should increase its rail oil safety oversight.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Industrial Commission on Monday adopted several steps aimed at curbing natural gas flaring as recommended by Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms. Commission members voted to begin requiring gas capture plans for all drilling permit applications after June 1. Operators also will have to provide an affidavit stating that they have provided the plan to all natural gas gathering companies in the area.
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The state Industrial Commission removed the most controversial part of a proposed “extraordinary places” policy before unanimously approving it Monday, deciding that permit applications for oil and gas drilling on private land shouldn’t be subject to a special public comment process. The policy had undergone several revisions since Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem introduced it in December, and the three Industrial Commission members -- Stenehjem, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring -- were inundated with more than 500 comments after delaying action at their Jan. 29 meeting to allow for more feedback.RELATED CONTENT
NDIC denies flaring exemption request
BISMARCK, N.D. – An oil company that proposed developing 25,000 acres in McKenzie County as one large drilling unit has withdrawn its application. The North Dakota Industrial Commission unanimously agreed Monday to vacate its previous order that granted the proposal from QEP Resources in a 2-1 vote. Commissioners were set to consider a request from a mineral owner’s attorney asking them to reconsider their decision, but Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said QEP had submitted a request to withdraw the proposal altogether.
Scientists worry disturbed soil would make land vulnerable to invasive species
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- What looks like a flat piece of land is actually a treasure trove in the eyes of the University of North Dakota’s grassland ecologist, Kathryn Yurkonis. “I saw my first snowy owl this past fall out there,” she said. “It’s a really great precious resource that we have.” Yurkonis was referring to Oakville Prairie, a 960-acre piece of research land that has never been tilled and therefore has soil and vegetation that read like a history book. It’s a scientist’s dream, and it’s in danger. The proposed route for Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline runs right through the prairie, and UND representatives spoke out against the possible construction at a meeting Feb. 19. But the battle isn’t over.
Steffes Corp. increases sales 400 percent in 4 years
DICKINSON, N.D. -- Ten years ago, Steffes Corp. focused on making snowmobile skis, hopper bottom storage bins and furniture frames. Now the business manufactures just about anything needed for oil production. “We’ve consistently had a philosophy that we have to reinvent ourselves every five years because the only thing you know for certain is that there will be change,” Steffes CEO Paul Steffes said. “Basically everything on the oil side -- except for the pump -- is some of the things we are making for the Bakken.”
WILLISTON, N.D. – Six weeks at a time, employees of a crew camp here work long shifts away from their families, supporting oil workers out in the field. Some Target Logistics crew camp workers have been in Williston for two to three years, while others work the 84-hour weeks until they get out of debt or meet a goal. Raymond Macy of Duluth, Minn., a baker at the Target Logistics Bear Paw Lodge, said the 12-hour days take a lot out of him, but he hopes the hours continue another six years so he can retire to Hawaii. “This is a really good opportunity,” said Macy, 50, who has been working in Williston three years. “But it does take a lot out of you. Not everybody can do it.”RELATED CONTENT
On the road to recycling: Companies trying to tweak methods used in other states for Bakken drill cuttings
WILLISTON, N.D. – A byproduct of oil drilling that generates a huge amount of waste could one day be recycled in North Dakota, but state health officials say they haven’t yet seen a proposal that would protect the environment. Several companies have presented ideas to the North Dakota Department of Health to treat drill cuttings and reuse the waste as a material to build roads, said Scott Radig, director of the Division of Waste Management.RELATED CONTENT
DICKINSON, N.D. -- The Bureau of Land Management’s North Dakota field office is inundated with permit applications for drilling on federal lands. The agency has gotten creative to try to keep up with the workload -- bringing in “strike teams” to the Miles City district headquarters, using teleworkers from around the country and even securing land for employee housing to help recruitment for its base in Dickinson. One of the more simple solutions has been to have the oil industry -- which both created the backlog and would benefit most from winnowing it down -- pay for more staff.RELATED CONTENT
BiSMARCK — If the North Dakota Industrial Commission decides not to act on a proposed “extraordinary places” policy Monday, it won’t be because of a lack of public input.
BiSMARCK — A petition to reconsider a controversial oil drilling proposal in McKenzie County will be heard on Monday by the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. – The top oil producer in the Bakken is linked to an investigation into radioactive oilfield waste that was stockpiled in rural McKenzie County. Continental Resources suspended RP Services as a contractor after learning allegations from the North Dakota Department of Health that used filter socks were improperly disposed of, said Eric Eissenstat, general counsel for Continental Resources.RELATED CONTENT
North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources director said Monday that he believes people walking in the state 100 years from now won’t even notice signs of today’s oil development.RELATED CONTENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Governors from around the country learned about North Dakota’s booming oil and gas development Sunday during a meeting here led by Gov. Jack Dalrymple. As chairman of the National Governors Association’s Natural Resources Committee, Dalrymple invited Tioga, N.D., resident Kathleen Neset to share her expertise in the state’s oil development. Neset, a member of North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education since 2012, owns Neset Consulting Services and is an oilfield geologist.