August 4, 2017
EPA's Pruitt Coming to North Dakota Next Week

Governor Doug Burgum will host US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt at meetings in Fargo and Grand Forks next week

Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, will participate in a discussion of the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule with state and local officials on August 9 in Fargo. A separate energy roundtable will be held later that day after Pruitt tours the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Administrator Pruitt to North Dakota and grateful for his actions to roll back overreaching federal regulations such as the WOTUS rule,” Burgum said.

Since his confirmation as EPA administrator in February, Pruitt has pledged to work with governors and their states to help them protect their water and air and grow their economies.
Allam Cycle Inventor to Speak at Empower Conference
The CEO of the company working to develop the Allam Cycle will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference to be held October 10 at Bismarck State College.
Bill Brown, CEO of NET Power, is working with Exelon and CB&I to commercialize Allam Cycle technology, which produces electricity from fossil fuels (including natural gas) at a cost comparable to existing technologies. The kicker is the process also captures all of the carbon dioxide and other atmospheric emissions.  
Brown co-founded 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, the inventor of the Allam Cycle. He will discuss the company’s 50-megawatt Allam Cycle demonstration plant in Texas.
The conference will also feature speakers discussing energy markets, the use of drones in the energy industry, and a panel of North Dakota’s top elected officials discussing the big picture in state and national energy policy.
Click here to read more about the event. 
Energy Committee to Meet in Tioga, Williston
The North Dakota Legislature’s interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee will meet September 6-7 in Tioga and Williston.
Committee Chairman Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, said committee members will tour oil production facilities near Tioga, including a hydraulic fracturing operation. First day activities will also include a tour of various infrastructure projects in Williston, he said.
The second day of the meeting will feature a discussion of growth in the City of Williston and its ongoing need for Hub City funding.  One of the committee’s interim assignments is to study the Hub City funding formula, which provides oil tax revenue to the cities of Williston, Dickinson and Minot to address industry impacts in the communities.
Wardner said he will also schedule meetings in Dickinson and Minot at a later date.

Energy Committee to Consider More Taxes on Energy Producers

Wind is one of the fast growing energy industries in North Dakota. Fifteen years ago it was basically nonexistent. Today it's 20 percent of the state's power grid. Lawmakers want to make sure the state is getting what they think is fair in taxes.

The KFYR-TV story is here. 
Drought Conditions Haven't Changed Much

The latest US Drought Monitor map shows 82 percent of the state in some stage of drought, up slightly from 79 percent last week. Most of central and western North Dakota remains in extreme or exceptional drought. 

Scattered showers brought relief to a few locations, but merely stalled the deterioration in others. In North Dakota, temperatures in excess of five degrees above normal, combined with a continued lack of rainfall led to an expansion of abnormally dry, moderate drought, and severe drought in the east. 

Gov. Burgum issued an updated Executive Order extending waivers for hours of service and weight limit restrictions for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting hay, water and livestock to help livestock producers battling drought conditions. The order can be viewed here.

For additional information related to drought and wildfires, visit

Marathon Describes Re-Fracs to ND Legislators
Officials of Marathon Oil Corporation told members of the interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee this week the company is enjoying “very competitive economics” as it re-fracs oil wells in North Dakota.

Marathon Operation Manager Jeff Parker and Senior Completion Engineer Peter Lewis said the company has been re-fracking “Generation 0” wells drilled between 2006 and 2009. Lewis said the wells were typically completed with six-inch open hole laterals. The initial “Hail Mary” frac left a disproportionate amount of proppant near the heel of well bore, he said.

Lewis said re-frac operations use much more proppant than was used during initial completion. He said earlier wells used only about 45 pounds of frac sand per linear foot, whereas a re-frac operation may use up to 2,000 pounds of sand per foot of lateral.

The committee is considering whether the state should offer financial incentives to encourage more companies to re-frac older Bakken wells.


Click here to see Marathon’s Powerpoint presentation.

Click here to see ND Pipeline Authority analysis of Bakken re-fracking activity. 

EERC: Companies Not Spending on Research

During the current economic downturn, researchers at EERC say companies are more reluctant to spend money on research into oil recovery technologies that may not pay off immediately.

Enhanced oil recovery could add as much as $20/bbl to production costs, and brings with it oil production carried out over a longer period of time rather than the near-immediate results of hydraulic fracturing.  But for companies willing to make such an investment, the long-term payout could be substantial, particularly in the Bakken, where the U.S. Department of Energy estimates there may be as much as 137 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Click here for the full Hart Energy story.

State Studies Oilfield Waste Treatment Plant

Officials in Dunn County are asking for more information about a mobile oilfield waste treatment plant that’s proposed in the Bakken.

The North Dakota Department of Health held a public hearing in Killdeer this week to discuss White Wing Limited’s application for a radioactive materials license. 

The business proposes to process, filter and separate oilfield waste that contains naturally occurring radioactive material.

Read the Bismarck Tribune story here.

Work on $5.3 Billion Enbridge Pipeline Underway

Enbridge Inc. has begun construction on a pipeline project spanning roughly 350 miles across Saskatchewan. 

The company plans to spend $5.3 billion on the largest project in its history, which involves replacing its Line 3 pipeline running from Hardisty, Alberta, to Gretna, Manitoba.

The new, 36-inch-diameter pipeline will be adjacent to the original, which was constructed in the 1960s of steel pipe wrapped in epoxy tape.

Read the story  here.
Pipeline Damaged by Repeat Offender

A Minnesota contractor that damaged a natural gas pipeline in western North Dakota last week has a history of striking pipelines.

Carstensen Contracting of Pipestone MN was installing a water pipeline near Watford City July 27 when it damaged a natural gas liquids pipeline owned by Oneok. The incident caused the release of 126,000 gallons of natural gas liquids and shut down a gas processing plant for three days.

Amy Dalrymple's story is here.
New Town College Gets $1.9 Million Grant

Senator John Hoeven announced this week that the National Science Foundation has awarded a $1,891,277 grant to Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College  in New Town.

The funds, which are awarded through NSF’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, will be used to support programs, internships and curriculum updates to help more NHSC students complete science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and enter into STEM professions.

“STEM professions continue to see robust growth, providing great opportunities for our citizens and keeping our industries on the cutting-edge,” Hoeven said. “Today’s NSF funding will help students at NHSC obtain STEM degrees and position them for success in a growing field.”
Crosby is Site of First Ever ScrubSeal

A new pavement preservation technology method was unveiled last month in Crosby.

Interstate Engineering and Bituminous Paving used a "scrub seal" as part of their Crosby street improvement project. A scrub seal is a chip seal that uses a ‘scrub’ broom system behind the oil distributor. The broom provides a scrubbing action that fills in the pavement cracks/voids, sealing the pavement surface and reducing chip loss.

In essence, it combines the crack seal and seal coat treatment processes into one operation. The scrub seal project is expected to extend the pavement life by 4-8 years.

Click here to read more.

Click here to see more photos of the process.
 Quick Connect

Factoid of the Week

The word "petroleum" literally translates as "rock oil." It stems from the Greek word "petra," meaning rock, and the Latin word "oleum," meaning oil. One barrel of oil accounts for about 19 gallons of gasoline, 9 gallons of diesel, 4 gallons of jet fuel, 1.75 gallons of heating oil and about 7.3 gallons for other petrochemical products like tar, asphalt, bitumen, etc. Products like fertilizers, plastics, car tires, ammonia, perfumes and even bubble gum are synthesized using petroleum products.

Source: Investing Answers

Upcoming Events

August 8
Interim Taxation Committee


August 23
ND Petroleum Council Golf Tournament
Bully Pulpit - Medora

August 24
ND CoalPAC Coal Country Classic Ride

September 8
ND CoalPAC Sporting Clay Shoot

October 4-5
7th Annual Bakken Oil Product & Service Show
Raymond Family Community Center -  Williston
Oil prices and rig count

August 4,  2017

                                                      WTI Crude: $49.47
                                                   Brent Crude: $52.33
                                                     Natural Gas: $2.78

              North Dakota Active Rigs: 58 (down 2)        8/4/16 -- 33 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs