May 5, 2017

Gov. Burgum Issues Partial Veto of SB 2013
Non-oil Townships Denied State Funding

Governor Doug Burgum used his line item veto authority to nullify three sections of SB 2013, legislation that established Hub City funding levels and provided money for airports in Williston and Dickinson.

The governor vetoed Section 4 of the bill, which would have provided $16.1 million to townships in "non-oil" counties (defined as those not in the top nine in oil production). In his veto message the governor objected to the fact the township funding was added to the bill in conference committee "without the scrutiny or transparency of the full legislative public hearing process." Burgum also characterized the appropriation as "an arbitrary and inefficient use of our scarce financial resources."

Governor Burgum also vetoed a section of the bill addressing the manner in which the state interprets payments owed for natural gas royalties, and part of another section that appropriated funds to pay for IT functions of the University and School Lands Department.

Click here to read Governor Burgum's veto message.

Click here to read Bismarck Tribune story on the possibility of a special session to override vetoes.

Correction: Last week's newsletter said a $5 million appropriation for an airport runway rehab project in Dickinson would come from the state's Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund. The funding will actually be part of a $25 million extension of grants administered by the University and School Lands Department's Energy Infrastructure and Impact Office.
Western Dakota Represented at Williston Basin Petroleum Conference

Chamber and economic development interests from communities in western North Dakota were well represented at the recently completed Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina, SK.

More than 600 delegates were registered for the event held May 2-4.  The conference returns to Bismarck next year.  It is scheduled May 22-24, 2018. Click the images below for a larger picture.

Click here to see KFYR-TV story.
  The Magic City's booth was manned by Jay Fisher and Alan Walter.
  Williston was represented by Shawn Wenko, Keith Olson and Barbara Peterson.
  Daniel Stenberg and Mary Gumke promoted Watford City at the event.
Davis refinery answers Belfield questions

Representatives from Meridian Energy Group answered questions from residents—who sat in the theater's red crushed-velvet seats—about the proposed Davis Refinery that would be built on over 700 acres near Belfield.

The refinery, which has marketed itself as the "cleanest refinery ever built," drew many questions from residents in the area.

While there were concerns from the community about the visual and wildlife impact, comments about city improvement lent itself applause from the crowd.

Click here to read the Dickinson Press story.
2016 natural gas electric generation exceeds coal for the first time

In 2016, electricity generated from natural gas accounted for the largest share (33.8%) of total U.S. generation, surpassing coal's share (30.4%) for the first time. The changes in generation fuel shares in 2016 reflect longer-term trends in the electricity supply market.

Click here for the Energy Information Administration story.
Permian:  Looming Takeaway Constraints Out Of The Hottest Shale Play

The highly attractive production economics of the Permian’s multistacked, hydrocarbon-packed Delaware and Midland basins all but guarantee that the region’s output of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids will continue rising—possibly at an even faster rate than what we’ve seen lately. That raises an all-important question: Will there be sufficient pipeline takeaway capacity in place to keep pace with all that growth? If there isn’t, some Permian producers will suffer from downward pressure on local prices—and that may cause them to have second thoughts about the big bucks they paid to gain access to the best Permian acreage in the first place.

Click here to read the full story.

Permian activity grows, for now

In March alone, for example, the Texas Railroad Commission issued 1,310 new drilling permits. Most of these were for the Permian. The number is up more than twice from a year earlier, when the number of new permits was 511.There are signs that this rush of activity is set for a slowdown through the rest of the year.

Read the story here.
Best Practices: Dust Abatement

Gravel roads are dusty.  For many roadways, the dust creates unsafe driving conditions. Additionally, loss of fine material degrades the ability of the driving surface aggregate to bond together and shed water.  Logically, increased traffic volumes result in increased dust.  So what can we do to reduce the dust?

Curtis Glasoe, Western Energy Technical Support Representative for North Dakota's Local Technical Assistance Program (NDLTAP), has analyzed the best methods of dust suppression. 

Click here to read Curt Glasoe's summary of best practices. 
Lindahl Wind Farm is on line

Lindahl wind farm,  Enel Green Power’s first project in the state of North Dakota, has started generating energy. 

The 150MW Lindahl wind farm, located near the towns of Lindahl and Tioga, is the first wind farm to operate in this area of oil country and is expected to generate about 625 gigawatt hours annually for Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

“The completion of Lindahl furthers our strong growth in the US,” said Rafael Gonzalez, Head of Enel Green Power North America. “We are proud to be a part of growing North Dakota’s energy economy and look forward to contributing our expertise and clean energy to the sustainable development of the local community.”

Click  here for the story.
Mule Deer
Mule deer numbers in and around the oil field continue to grow

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has completed its annual spring mule deer survey, and results indicate western North Dakota's mule deer population has increased 16 percent from last year.

Biologists counted 3,349 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during this year's survey. Overall mule deer density in the Badlands was 10.9 deer per square mile, which is up from 9.4 deer per square mile in 2016.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department completed its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population has increased 16 percent from last year.

Biologists counted 3,349 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during this year’s survey. Overall mule deer density in the badlands was 10.9 deer per square mile, which is up from 9.4 deer per square mile in 2016.

Big game management supervisor Bruce Stillings said mule deer in the badlands have recovered nicely following the winters of 2009-11, which led to record low fawn production and a population index low of 4.6 mule deer per square mile in 2012.

“The population recovery is due to no antlerless harvest for four years combined with milder winter conditions during 2012-16, which led to good fawn production since 2013,” Stillings said. “However, the long-term health of the population will depend on maintaining high quality habitat.”

ND Game and Fish report is here.


Big Horn Sheep numbers continue to grow

"The total count of adult rams and ewes was the highest on record, but the total count, recruitment rate and winter survival rate for lambs were all the lowest on record," Big game biologist Brett Wiedmann  said. "The recruitment rate of lambs per adult ewes was 15 percent, well below the long-term average."

Grand Forks Herald story from Doug Leier is here.

Advisory group urges statewide plan
to preserve North Dakota's beauty

"The priorities are trying to preserve the natural beauty of the Badlands," said Daryl Dukart, a rancher and county commissioner in Dunn County. "The goal is to use the smallest possible footprint that we can."

The plan, drafted by a group of Badlands residents that represents ranchers, local government, the oil industry, conservation and legislators, began last year with an assessment that came from a year of stakeholder interviews.

The advisory group is calling for a long-term, strategic plan for developing North Dakota's natural resources.

Click here to read the West Fargo Pioneer story.
Dakota Access Pipeline Ready to Open for Business
The Dakota Access Pipeline, filling with crude oil in preparation for going into service May 14, should rearrange some crude oil flows and give a boost to the profit margins of oil producers in North Dakota, analysts told Bloomberg BNA.

Bloomberg BNA story is here.
Iowa vandals use blowtorch on DAPL Pipeline

Authorities in southeast Iowa say the Dakota Access oil pipeline was vandalized Tuesday. The vandal reportedly used a blowtorch to attempt to cut through the thick sides of the line. The attempt failed as the vandals were only able to leave burn marks on the pipeline and failed to cause any real damage.

Click here to read the story.
Quick Connect

Upcoming Events

Mountrail County Hwy Dept, Stanley ND

                                                                  May 15                                                                                                          Williston State of the City Address                                              Williston Area Recreation Center 
                                                      Lunch will be served.                                                     
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

May 16

June 14
Summer Multi-Industry Job Fair, Watford City
Rough Rider Center
3:00 - 7:00 p.m.

June 19-22
ND Petroleum Council Teacher Seminar
Bismarck, ND

July 17-19, 2017
Bismarck Event Center

Oil prices and rig count

May 5, 2017

                                                      WTI Crude: $46.38
                                                   Brent Crude: $49.26
                                                     Natural Gas: $3.24

              North Dakota  Active Drills: 50 (up 1)        5/5/16 -- 27 rigs

Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs
Western Dakota Energy Association