September 29, 2017
Bakken Leaders Discuss
Growth Challenges, Benefits
Rapid expansion of the petroleum industry brought with it many challenges for the communities it impacted, but the benefits of oil development have been felt far and wide in North Dakota.
A panel discussion led by Lt. Governor Brent Sanford, the former mayor of Watford City, gave attendees at the ND Petroleum Council’s annual meeting a flavor of what the communities went through.
Shawn Wenko, economic development director in Williston, said his office is now focused on qualify of life issues to attract workforce. Wenko felt the city received unfair criticism that hyped negative aspects during the boom, but wants people to consider all the good things that have happened.

Click here to listen to Wenko’s comments.
The panel included Barry Wilfahrt, who leads economic development efforts in Grand Forks. Wilfahrt talked about the collaborative relationship between the east and west to provide political support for the affected communities. He said although Grand Forks is hundreds of miles from the Bakken, the oil boom has brought tremendous benefits to his community.

Click here to listen to Wilfahrt’s comments. 
The panel also included Dale Patten, former McKenzie County Commissioner, who said Watford City’s main focus today is attracting workers and providing the training opportunities they need.
Burgum: Oil Production Goal May Be Too Low

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's says his goal to double North Dakota's oil production might be too low.

Speaking at the ND Petroleum Conference this week in Grand Forks, Burgum said at the rate oil production technology is advancing, anything is possible.

Burgum challenged the industry with the goal to double production earlier this year.

"I'm all for listening. I'm all for input," he said. "This is an industry. You're a private sector. You guys get to decide if your businesses really want to grow, stay the same, shrink, sell. You get to do what you want to do. That's the beauty of the private sector."

Click here to read more from the Grand Forks Herald.
Stephen Moore Praises Fossil Fuel Industry
If it had not been for the shale oil and gas revolution, the United States would have not have had an economic recovery during the early years of the Obama Administration, according to former Wall Street Journal senior economist Stephen Moore.

Moore, who is now chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, spoke at the annual meeting of the ND Petroleum Council this week in Grand Forks.

“Your industry was almost solely responsible for the economic recovery that we had that started in 2010,” Moore said. “In just eight years, the United States increased oil and gas production 70%, and a huge percentage of the jobs created during the first few years of the Obama administration were in the oil and gas industry.”
Moore also pointed out that because of the Trump Administration’s rollback of excessive environmental regulations, the coal industry is seeing a rebound as well. He said US coal production is up 12-to-15 percent in 2017.
“Those numbers were falling, and then they started to rise with Trump because he has released so many of the regulations that were trying to kill this industry,” Moore said.
Moore said he believes the United States needs to let the free market work.  

“Whatever works we should use,” he said. “If natural gas is cheap we should use that. If coal is cheap we should use that. If nuclear power is cheap, we should use that. We should not have the government picking winners and losers.” 
Oil Technology Continues to Improve
New and better oil production and transportation technology continues to improve Bakken oil capture rates, and makes the industry safer and more efficient.
That was the message from Lynn Helms, director of the ND Department of Mineral Resources, at this week’s annual meeting of the ND Petroleum Council. Helms talked about technological advances including the use of drones to monitor pipelines, electro-kinetic desalinization to clean up salt water spills, and electronic markers to locate underground pipelines.
Helms also described a research project between EERC and Rice University to improve leak detection through the use of nanotechnology.

Click here to listen to Helms’ description.

Helms also talked about advances in hydraulic fracturing, including something called “dual frac.”
Click here to listen to Helms’ comment.
Helms’ presentation also covered new drilling technology that has allowed oil wells to be drilled to total depth in just five days, as well as the use of various hydrocarbons in enhanced oil recovery field tests.
Tioga's Drone Camp for Kids
is Workforce Development

After its second year, Tioga's Drone Camp for Kids is flying higher than ever, with even loftier goals ahead. 

Organizer Dennis Lindahl said 81 kids from seven states attended this year's camp, with each participant getting not only an introduction to unmanned aerial systems, but also getting introductions and connections with universities, engineers and the United States Air Force.

Each participant even got to take home their own drone.

"We find kids are interested in the latest technology, so we get them in to the track where they can go on to careers," Lindahl said. "It's workforce development, and that is economic development. It's a feeder pipeline for future employees."

Lindahl said he believes if ND can be the "Drone Capital" of the world, then Tioga can be the "Drone Capital for Kids." The camp is free to the students and their families. Local support from Tioga and the region pays for the event. Other cities in western North Dakota are working with Lindahl to create as many as 44 Tech Camps in 2018. 

For more information, connect with Lindahl at Dakota PR. 
Land Board Awards $8.5 Million Impact Grants

The Board of University and School Landsawarded oil and gas development impact grants of nearly $8.5 million this week.

Of the total, $487,364 in grants were awarded to the18 nursing home and basic care facilities which operate in the oil and gas producing counties impacted by housing and wage pressure during the energy industry buildup. 

Grants were also awarded to both Bowman County and Divide County to help offset infrastructure and repair costs to roads experiencing high oilfield traffic. 
Click here to see the breakdown of nursing home grants.
EmPower to Continue Electricity 101 Discussion
Members of the ND Empower Commission will meet next week to put the finishing touches on their Electric Generation 101 document.
Industry representatives have been working on the document, which explains to policy makers and the general public how electric markets are impacting North Dakota. State legislators have raised concerns that because the market favors wind generation, it is threatening the state’s coal industry, potentially creating risks to electric reliability. The 101 document will be shared with the Energy Development and Transmission Committee when it meets in Bismarck Oct. 9-10.
The Empower Commission meets Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Department of Commerce in Bismarck. Click here to see the agenda.
Electric markets will also be discussed the Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference on October 10 in Bismarck. Click here for more details.
Register Now for WDEA Annual Meeting
Attendees looking for a discounted lodging rate at this year’s annual meeting of the Western Dakota Energy Association must register today.
Today is the expiration date for a block of motel rooms that has been reserved at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson. To obtain the special rate of $69.00, contact the motel directly at 701-483-5600 or 1-800-422-0949. Meeting code: WDEA.

WDEA’s annual meeting will be held Nov. 1-2 at the Ramada. The event begins on Wednesday with an opening social and exhibits, with a full slate of informative presentations scheduled the following day. Click here to register or view the agenda. 
Sponsorship and exhibitors opportunities are also still available. Click here for the sponsorship form.
Western Counties Prep for Medical Marijuana

A handful of counties including McKenzie, Burleigh and Morton have prepared themselves for anticipated medical marijuana businesses to begin in their counties. 

Now, Vision West is giving other counties an opportunity to develop zoning regulations for cannabis businesses, and to learn from the counties that have moved ahead with planning and zoning.

Deb Nelson from Vision West and DLN Consulting said Mercer and Dunn Counties sparked the idea for the workshop. It's called "Developing Your 'Cannibis'ness Plan, Local Planning & Zoning Implications for Medical Marijuana."

The conference to be held October 26 in Killdeer will give participants information on the state's regulations, local planning and zoning issues, how McKenzie County put together its plan, plus an opportunity for 1-on-1 consulting.

Click here for more information. Register by email to Vision West.
Quick Connect

  • Phillips 66 buys in to Energy Transfer Partners and DAPL -- Zacks

  • Counties Anticipate Property Tax Challenges -- NDACo

  • I-94 load limits may increase -- Ag Week

  • Bipartisan group of legislature to sue Gov. Burgum over vetoes - KFYR-TV
Factoid of the Week

North Dakota's current average oil production is 1,047,526 barrels/day. There are 42 gallons in a barrel, and 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot. Doing the math, the volume of 1,047,526 barrels would cover a football field including the end zones 102 feet deep.

Upcoming Events
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Raymond Family Community Center - Williston

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Rapid City, SD

October 24, 25, 26
Bowman, Washburn, Grafton

November 1-2
Oil prices and rig count

September 29, 2017

WTI Crude: $51.62
Brent Crude: $57.54
Natural Gas: $3.02

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 58 (unch)      9/29/16 -- 34 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs