April 13, 2018
State Gets EPA Approval to Regulate CO2 Storage

North Dakota is the first state in the nation to receive approval for underground storage of carbon dioxide.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday notified the state it has permission to regulate the storage of CO2 in underground wells. The Energy and Environmental Research Center has been working with the ND Industrial Commission for several years to develop the technology.

“The State of North Dakota is a proven partner in the safe and responsible development of our country’s natural resources,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We are practicing cooperative federalism and increasing the state’s involvement in local environmental protection." 

Lt. Governor Brent Sanford said the EPA decision means more than just the possibility of underground storage. He said it creates a lot of opportunity for the state. Click here to listen to Sanford’s comments.

Sanford made his comments during an interview on the radio program, Energy Matters.

Click here to read more from the ND Industrial Commission.
Innovation & Safety Stressed at Asphalt Conference

More than 200 state and local highway department employees converged on Bismarck this week for the annual ND Asphalt Conference, organized by the North Dakota Local Technical Assistance Program.

NDDOT Secretary Tom Sorel opened the conference, emphasizing leadership, innovation and safety in his remarks. Sorel said highway departments need to think about some of the major changes that technology is bringing to transportation, such as self-driving vehicles.

Click here to listen to Sorel’s comments.

Sorel said technology will also change the way roads are maintained, including the use of robotic machines to repair potholes.

Click here to listen to Sorel’s comments.

Highway safety is a high priority for DOT. Sorel said agencies are working together through the Vision Zero program to reduce traffic fatalities.

Click here to listen to Sorel’s comments. 

Sorel encouraged attendees to stay informed about technological advancements to help North Dakota lead the way in improving the safety and efficiency of transportation.
Landowners Learn about Property Rights

More than 160 landowners attended an informational expo this week in Stanley to get a better understanding about the impacts of energy development.

The event was organized by the Northwest Landowners Association. Chairman Troy Coons, who was interviewed this week on the radio program Energy Matters, said it’s important that landowners know their rights when negotiating with any kind of energy developer that wants to lease their property.

Click here to listen to Coons’ comments.

Coons said in some cases all landowners affected by a wind farm project receive compensation, even if they don’t have a turbine on their land.

Click here to listen to Coons’ comments.

Coons said the NW Landowners Association is not opposed to any form of energy development. He said his organization’s main focus is making sure landowners get the best deal when it happens.

State Senator David Rust (R-Tioga) spoke at the gathering. Rust said there are a couple of wind farms proposed for northwestern North Dakota near Tioga. He said there are mixed opinions about another wind farm in the area. 

"A lot of farmers today are looking for ways to help out their bottom line, and so they're looking more favorably at wind farms," he said. "I think a landowner should be able to use their land as they wish, whether it is wind, oil, gas or gravel."

Rust serves on the legislature's Interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee and is a past president of the ND Association of Oil & Gas Producing Counties, now WDEA.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Coons.
PSC Hears Hess Plan for Oil Pipeline Conversion

The ND Public Service Commission heard this week about challenges associated with a Hess Corporation project to convert 19 miles of existing 10-inch and 16-inch crude oil gathering lines in McKenzie County into a transmission line for its Keene Oil facility.

The PSC held a hearing Tuesday in Watford City. Commissioner Randy Christmann, who was interviewed on the radio program Energy Matters, said the PSC decision is important because the pipeline could eventually transport more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

Click here to listen to Christmann’s comments.

There were a lot of questions about leak detection during the hearing. Typically such systems monitor pipeline pressure to provide early notification of possible leaks, but Christmann said it’s not that simple with this particular project.

Click here to listen to Christmann’s comments.

Christmann said the pipeline runs within 500 feet of five different occupied structures. That is normally not allowed, so Hess needs to obtain permission from each of the property owners.

Click here and advance to the 28:20 mark to listen to the full interview with Christmann. Energy Matters airs every Tuesday from 3:00–5:00 CST on KFYR and KLTC Radio, and is rebroadcast Saturday on WZFG and KTGO Radio.

Click here for Renée Jean's story about the hearing in the Williston Herald.
McIntosh County Latest to Join LoadPass
Truck Permit Committee Meets Monday in Killdeer

The McIntosh County Commission voted this week to join WDEA’s LoadPass system for permitting the movement of oversize trucks on county and township roads and bridges.

The county is the latest to join LoadPass, which this year began offering its services outside the oil-producing counties. Traill and Grand Forks Counties also voted to join LoadPass this year, and several other counties are actively considering it.

Expansion of the LoadPass system is one of the topics that will be discussed on Monday when the truck permit advisory committee meets in Killdeer. The committee will also elect a slate of officers under the revised bylaws recently approved by the WDEA Executive Committee.

The LoadPass Advisory Committee meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. MDT at the High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer. Click here to see the full agenda.
Workshop: Talking Safety with Local Officials

The National Center for Rural Road Safety has developed a new workshop, Effectively Communicating Safety with Elected Officials.

The goal of the workshop is to help local road engineers, planners and public works employees take advantage of opportunities to improve rural road safety when they interact with elected officials.

North Dakota Local Technical Assistance Program offers the workshop “Effectively Communicating Safety with Elected Officials” on a request basis.

Click here to learn more.
Quick Connect

  • Vanadium found in oil sands could lead to battery breakthrough - CBC

  • US natural gas production 90.9 Bcf/day set a record in 2017 -- EIA

  • US crude production grew 5% in 2017, led by Permian -- EIA

  • Carbon capture could be $1 trillion opportunity by 2030 -- Fast Company

  • Shakeup in Bowman County school board, former president resigns -- Bowman Extra

  • Kinder Morgan may pull the plug on Canadian pipeline expansion -- Platts

  • Op-ed: California's petroleum wars costly in dollars and sense -- Newsmax

  • Byron Dorgan op-ed: Renewable fuel standard works for rural America -- The Hill

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April 13, 2018

WTI Crude: $67.15
Brent Crude: $72.33
Natural Gas: $2.74

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 60 (up 3)      4/13/2017 -- 51 rigs
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