October 20, 2017
WDEA Members Developing GPT Study
 
WDEA and several of its members have teamed up on a study to develop details about current and future oil industry impacts, and are sharing that information with an interim legislative committee looking into the distribution of oil tax revenue.
 
Four cities and four counties have agreed to contribute to a cost-sharing agreement to develop the data. The Dickinson City Commission voted this week to support the study, as did the Williams and Mountrail County Commissions. Other study participants are the cities of Williston, Minot and Watford City, as well as Dunn and McKenzie Counties. WDEA has contracted with AE2S Nexus to perform the work.
 
The study will build on WDEA’s previous Six-City Study, which was presented to the 2017 Legislature.  
 
The interim Energy Development and Transmission (EDT) Committee is conducting a study of Hub City funding, which is now allocated to the cities of Dickinson, Minot and Williston. Committee Chairman Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, is taking a broader view of the study, looking at impacts of oil development throughout western North Dakota. The WDEA study will assist Sen. Wardner in identifying those impacts, and will aid in the development of recommendations for appropriate levels of funding to address the needs of western communities.
 
The EDT Committee’s next meeting will be held October 30-31 in Dickinson. Click here to see the agenda.
Bylaw Changes to be Considered
at WDEA Annual Meeting
 
Voting delegates from WDEA member counties, cities and school districts will be asked at this year's annual meeting to consider several amendments to the association's bylaws regarding terms and term limits of Executive Committee members. Delegates will also elect Executive Committee members at the meeting.
 
The annual meeting will be held November 1-2 at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson. To be eligible to cast a ballot at the meeting, members must be current on WDEA dues for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
 
Members will decide whether to approve modifications to term limits of WDEA Executive Committee members, as well as the process of filling a vacancy on the board.
 
Click here to see the ballot.
 
Click here to view the agenda and/or register for the annual meeting. The early registration fee is just $75.00, but will increase to $100 after today.
 
Opportunities for event sponsorship and exhibit space are also still available. Click here for the sponsor/exhibitor form.
CPP Repeal a Chance to Reset US Energy Strategy
 
President Trump’s repeal of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) gives energy planners a chance to take a fresh look at the nation’s energy policy, according to ND Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus.
 
In an interview this week on the radio program, Energy Matters, Kroshus said the CPP failed to consider the needs of American consumers.
 
Click here to listen to Kroshus’ comments.
 
Kroshus said the US Department of Energy’s current strategic plan lacks detail about the country’s future energy supply. He believes repeal of the CPP gives policy makers a chance to take a fresh look at the issue.
 
Click here to listen to Kroshus’ comments.
 
Kroshus believes lignite coal will continue to be an important part of the nation’s energy mix, but said he supports an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy policy.
 
Energy Matters airs every Tuesday from 3:00–5:00 PM on KFYR and KLTC Radio. It is rebroadcast Saturday on WZFG and KTGO Radio.
NDPC Resists Proposed Spill Reporting Rule

The North Dakota Petroleum Council plans to oppose several proposed oil and gas rule changes, particularly one that would require reporting small spills.

The 2017 ND Legislature enacted HB 1151, the so-called “Spill Bill,” which provided that spills of less than 10 barrels would no longer need to be reported if they were contained to the well pad. 

In an interview this week on the radio program, Energy Matters, NDPC Government Affairs Manager Brady Pelton said the new rule runs contrary to the wishes of the legislature.

Click here to listen to Pelton’s comments.

The Department of Mineral Resources is accepting comments on the rules. Click here for more details.
Feds predict cold weather
and higher heating bills

Colder temperatures and higher heating oil prices in the United States could lead to higher heating costs this winter.

The Energy Information Administration expects households heating primarily with natural gas will spend $69 more this winter compared with last winter. The increase in forecast expenditures compared with last winter is driven by a 9% increase in consumption and a 2% increase in price.  

Average increases vary by fuel, with natural gas expenditures forecast to rise by 12%, home heating oil by 17%, electricity by 8%, and propane by 18%. Most of the increase reflects expected colder weather rather than higher energy costs. 

The Winter Fuels Outlook is here.
Increased Oil Production Predicted

The Department of Energy is predicting another strong month of growth in oil production from the nation's shale fields in November.

The Short Term Energy Outlook predicts the greatest part of the growth will happen in the Permian Basin in west Texas.

The DOE and the Energy Information Administration say American drillers are poised to increase output by 81,000 barrels a day next month. 

The EIA forecast is here
Oil Trains not Oil Spills
Contaminate the Environment

It's not the spills, it's the air. A study from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh found the policy debate surrounding crude oil transportation has put too much emphasis on accidents and spills, while overlooking a far more serious source of external cost: air pollution from oil trains and oil trucks.

Using data for crude oil transported out of North Dakota in 2014, the study finds that air pollution and greenhouse gas costs are nearly twice as large for rail as for pipelines.

Click here for the story from Prairie Public Broadcasting.
DAPL Cases in the Courtroom

At least two courtrooms in America decided cases this week involving the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

In one case a federal judge decided to hear arguments whether Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access must stage equipment on the Standing Rock Reservation to respond to any oil spill under the Missouri River.

The spill preparedness story is  here.

In a second court, a district judge's petition to end legal provisions for out-of-state attorneys in cases related to DAPL protests was turned down. The ND Supreme Court said out-of-state attorneys can represent DAPL protestors.

The Bismarck Tribune's out-of-state attorney story is here.
North Dakota Receives Waiver for REAL ID Compliance

The US Department of Homeland Security has provided a waiver to the State of North Dakota for compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The decision means the current North Dakota driver's license and identification card are acceptable for access to federal facilities, including military installations and boarding aircraft until October 2020.

The 2017 Legislature passed and Governor Burgum signed the final implementation bill for REAL ID.

More information from ND DOT is here.
North Dakota drought conditions improve

Even though no significant rain fell this month in western North Dakota, the drought monitor index shows the most extreme drought conditions have receded from the state.

About four percent of South Dakota remains in that extreme category. A small area of extreme drought remains in northeastern Montana.

While there are lingering long-term deficits, local observers report that farming conditions are currently improving.

The ND Drought Monitor page is here.
Quick Connect


  • Dakota Access donates $14,000 to first responders -- KFYR-TV




  • Williams County to help fund study on oil tax distribution -- Williston Herald

  • XTO Energy role in state's rising advanced placement scores -- U.S. News



  • Op-Ed: Let FERC approve pipelines without state interference -- U.S News
Factoid of the Week

Coal has been used for nearly as long as mankind has existed. In fact, coal was used to provide heat in caveman times. In the 1300s in what is now the United States, Native Americans used coal for cooking, making clay pots, and heating. By the mid-1700s, the first U.S. coal mining operations opened in Virginia.

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Oil prices and rig count

October 20, 2017

WTI Crude: $51.40
Brent Crude: $57.15
Natural Gas: $2.91

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 54 (dn 5)      10/20/16 -- 33 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs