October 13, 2017
North Dakota Oil Production Continues to Grow

North Dakota’s oil production continues an upward trend, climbing 3.5% to 1,084,690 barrels per day in the month of August.

North Dakota also produced a record 1.94 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in August, up from 1.89 billion cubic feet daily in July.

Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms said oil producers have shifted from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases and decreases as the WTI oil price floats between $40 and $50/barrel.

Helms' October Director's Cut is here.

Williston Herald story is here.
Dakota Access is Good for ND Economy

The Dakota Access Pipeline is reducing the cost of moving oil from North Dakota, and that means the state will see additional income from oil taxes. 

Shippers are saving an estimated $2.00 per barrel shipping oil by DAPL instead of rail lines.  ND Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad said the improvement will generate greater tax revenue for North Dakota. He estimates the state collected an additional $6 million per month in the first three months of DAPL's operation.

Charts and slides from Kringstad's monthly report are here .

Click here for the Associated Press story.
Judge Rules DAPL Oil Can Continue to Flow

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled that oil can continue to flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline while federal agencies continue to study potential environmental effects.  

Standing Rock Sioux tribal officials had asked Boasberg to shut down the line until the Army Corps of Engineers' study was completed. DAPL moves about half of North Dakota's daily production. ND Petroleum Council President Ron Ness says it’s “a critical part of American energy infrastructure.”

Story from Oilprice.com is here.

Click here for Bismarck Tribune story.
NDACo Video Recognizes DAPL Responders

Forty-three counties answered the call to assist Morton County during the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. The efforts of the law enforcement officers are recognized in a video released this week by the ND Association of Counties.

A total of 1,820 personnel responded to the call for help. In the video, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier thanks law enforcement officers and cities and counties for their support.

Click here to watch the video.
State Transition to DEQ Moving Forward

Work continues on transitioning the environmental regulation functions from the ND Department of Health to form a new Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Dave Glatt, director of the Environmental Health Unit, provided an update on the radio program Energy Matters this week. Some critics are wondering why North Dakota would want its own version of the EPA. But Glatt said the state won’t be doing anything different, just elevating the profile of environmental issues.

Click here to listen to Glatt’s comments.
Legislators have given the Health Department until July 2019 to make the transition, but Glatt said he hopes to have the new DEQ up and running by the middle of 2018. He said North Dakotans can rest assured the agency will continue to work with the state’s industries, not against them. 

Click here to listen to Glatt’s comments.
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.
Study Finds Railroads Need to Improve Safety

Railroads have made improvements in their safe handling of crude oil, but more needs to be done. One of the critical needs, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, is to work with local communities to improve emergency preparedness.

The study began in 2015 in response to increased shipment of crude by rail. It found that railroads have an opportunity to create a more robust safety assurance system, one that resembles those of maritime shippers and pipeline operators. It also found the need to repair tracks and to upgrade tank cars as they haul more hazardous cargo.

Click here to read more or download the full report.
Empower Conference Looks
at New Energy Technology

The EmPower ND Energy Conference in Bismarck this week provided industry experts the chance to learn and discuss new technologies to produce more energy with less environmental impact.

One of the ideas discussed at the event is called the Allam Cycle. It's an innovative zero-emission electric generation technology, currently being demonstrated at a plant in Texas. The Allam Cycle uses a high-pressure, oxyfuel, supercritical CO2 cycle that makes carbon capture part of the core power generation process, rather than an afterthought.

Click here for more from KFYR-TV

Click here to read Prairie Public Broadcasting story on carbon capture and the Allam Cycle.

Click here for North Dakota reaction to withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan.
Kessel Interviewed by The Crude Life

WDEA’s incoming president Shawn Kessel was interviewed this week by multimedia journalist Jason Spiess for The Crude Life.

Kessel, who is the city administrator in Dickinson, was asked by Spiess about the city’s recent Money magazine recognition as the 6th Best Place to Live in the United States.

Click here to listen to Kessel’s comments.

Kessel said Dickinson pulled together a team effort to address impacts of oil development. He said city leaders recognized early on the importance of quality-of-life issues.

Click here to listen to Kessel’s comments.

Click here to listen to the full interview.
MDU Seeks Natural Gas Rate Increase

Montana Dakota Utilities Co. is seeking a 5.4 percent increase in natural gas rates from its North Dakota customers.

The ND Public Service Commission will hold public input sessions in the case Oct. 24-25 via interactive television from locations across the state. The public will also be able to listen to the public input session via webcast and submit questions via e-mail.

If granted, the proposed increase would generate an additional $5.9 million in annual revenue for MDU. It would amount to an increase of $2.98 per month for the average residential customer.

Read more here.
Western Government Leaders Recognized

Two longtime western North Dakota government leaders were among a group of county officials recognized for their service this week by the ND Association of Counties.

Williams County Treasurer/Recorder Kari Evenson was recognized for excellence as a leader and mentor among the state’s County Treasurers over the past 30 years, and former McKenzie County Auditor/Treasurer Linda Svihovec received the County Hall of Honor Award.

Evenson has been a leader in advancing technology, and was nominated for the award by the ND County Treasurers Association. Svihovec guided McKenzie County through a period of explosive growth due to the oil boom, and served as president of NDACo in 2010.

Click here to see the recognition video.
Register Soon for WDEA Annual Meeting
Earlybird Registration Rate Ends October 20
Guests planning to attend the Nov. 1-2 annual meeting of the Western Dakota Energy Association are encouraged to register soon to take advantage of a reduced registration rate.
The registration fee for the two-day event is just $75.00, but will go up to $100 after October 20. The annual meeting will be held at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson. It begins with a Wednesday evening social featuring remarks by Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, continues with an informative program on Thursday, and concludes with the association business meeting and election of board members and officers.
Attendees will hear energy technology updates including presentations about re-fracs and optimized production, as well as the latest in coal research. Guests will also receive a legislative update, listen to a panel discussion on education funding, and hear an update on enhancements to WDEA’s LoadPass Truck Permit System.
Click here to view the agenda and/or register.
North Dakota Drought Continues -
FEMA Drought Assistance Denied

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring unsuccessfully lobbied for federal drought disaster funding, but said getting turned down wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Goehring said many of the impacted farmers and ranchers have found help through other programs.

A hard freeze (below 28°F) limited the impact of drought conditions on growing plants. Nationally, North and South Dakota, and Montana are still some of the driest states in the nation.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows about three-fourths of both Dakotas are in some stage of drought. Eastern regions of both states are no longer listed as even abnormally dry.

Details about North Dakota drought situation is here.

KFYR-TV story on the FEMA denial is here.
Quick Connect

  • Judge’s ruling on North Dakota water project appealed -- AP

  • Op-Ed Gruchalla: ND misses out on Xcel wind farm -- INFORUM

  • Little Missouri River Commission delays action on oilfield policy -- Bismarck Tribune

  • Meridian Energy weighs in on proposed tax cut benefits to Davis Refinery -- Meridian Energy

Factoid of the Week

US refineries produce approximately 20 gallons of gasoline from a barrel of crude oil. Americans consumed 143 billion gallons of gasoline in 2016. That’s nearly 392 million gallons of gas a day. Ninety-five percent of the gasoline used in US motor vehicles contains 10% of ethanol.

Source: EIA
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Oil prices and rig count

October 13, 2017

WTI Crude: $51.12
Brent Crude: $56.85
Natural Gas: $3.01

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 59 (up 1)      10/13/16 -- 33 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs