STAFF BLOG OIL PATCH DISPATCH Group floats idea of a ferry across Lake Sakakawea
WILLISTON, N.D. A ferry to float vehicles across Lake Sakakawea could relieve traffic on overburdened Oil Patch highways, says a group working to plan western North Dakotas future.
Members of the Vis... Posted on 3/8/14 at 12:49 AM
STAFF BLOG AG RIGHT WITH AGWEEK REPORTER JONATHON KNUTSON Actions and consequences
I've written several stories about how the proposed Food and Drug Administration ban on artificial trans fat in the U.S. food supply could affect Upper Midwest agriculture. One of the stories, an inte... Posted on 11/22/13 at 10:03 AM
REAL OILFIELD WIVES Our Camper Life: An Introduction
Two months ago I was living in a four bedroom house with chickens and gardens, working a full time job and taking care of my son, Will, while his daddy, Jacob, worked in the North Dakota oilfields. So... Posted on 7/10/13 at 8:16 AM
STAFF BLOG AREAVOICES COMMUNITY Real Oilfield Wives and more new blogs!
It's been awhile since I've given you my recommendations for new blogs to check out here on Areavoices. But three new blogs have crossed my path and I felt compelled to share them.
The first is calle... Posted on 3/13/13 at 3:01 PM
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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