February 2, 2018
Oil Production on Pace for New Record
But State Expects a Dip along the Way

North Dakota oil production continues to climb toward an all-time high, but the state’s top industry regulator expects a slight drop before it happens.

November 2017 production averaged 1,194,920 barrels per day, just three percent shy of the all-time mark of 1,229,572 set in December 2014. Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said production has been climbing about one percent per month, so he expects the record will fall this spring. But before that happens, Helms thinks the state will see a slight decline in production mainly due to weather-related power outages.

Click here to listen to Helms’ comments.

Helms pointed out producers in Texas and other shale plays don’t have to contend with severe winters. He said Bakken producers have figured out how to compete in adverse conditions.

Click here to listen to Helms’ comments.

The previous spike in oil production was challenging for communities to handle, but Helms said things are going much more smoothly this time because infrastructure is in place.

Click here to listen to Helms’ comments.

Helms made his comments during an interview with Scott Hennen on the radio program Energy Matters. Click here and advance to the 01:25 mark to listen to the full interview. 
ND Tax Revenue Climbs with Oil Production

As North Dakota crude numbers continue to surge, more tax revenue is flowing into the state’s coffers.

State Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said the state collected $175 million in oil production and extraction tax revenue in December, well above the forecasted $130 million figure. He credits a lot of the increase to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which he said greatly reduced the cost of transportation for oil shippers, generating an additional $200-250 million in tax revenue.

But it’s not just oil tax revenue on the climb. Rauschenberger said sales tax numbers are also on the way up.

Click here to listen to Rauschenberger’s comments.

Rauschenberger said oil-related sales activity in Williston makes it a major player in the state.

Click here to listen to Rauschenberger’s comments.

Rauschenberger made his comments during an interview with Scott Hennen on the radio program Energy Matters. Click here and advance to the 29:45 mark to listen to the full interview. 
NDIAC Hosts Govt Relations Event

More than 300 people attended a first-of-its-kind, two-day gathering in Bismarck this week aimed at improving relationships between tribal officials and federal, state and local governments.

The event was organized by the ND Indian Affairs Commission. NDIAC Executive Director Scott Davis shared his views on relationship building during the conference.

“You can’t have a discussion if you don’t have a relationship,” Davis said. “You need to get into the other person’s shoes, to think like them, find out what motivates them and what worries them.”

Davis said he was called upon by Governor Doug Burgum for advice as the governor worked to resolve the dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Davis said he cautioned the governor to “expect finger pointing,” but have patience to hear the story. He said people just want to be heard, and if you do that, “you can turn one eyebrow into two eyebrows.”

Gov. Burgum and Lt. Governor Brent Sanford attended both days of the gathering. Burgum wrapped up the conference by encouraging everyone to work toward a brighter future. 

“We don’t believe our state can reach its fullest potential if our tribal nations aren’t reaching their fullest potential,” Burgum said. 

Click here to read Governor Burgum’s news release. Click here to see a KX News story.
Pipeline Protest Remembered at Conference

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s historic preservation officer recalls the Dakota Access Pipeline protest as “the most profound experience of my life, but also the most challenging.”

Jon Eagle Sr. was among the many prominent speakers during this week’s Strengthening Government to Government Relationships conference organized by the ND Indian Affairs Commission. Eagle delivered opening and closing prayers at the event, and described his memories of the DAPL protest during a session on energy and tribal historic preservation. He said he was with the protesters, and witnessed firsthand the conflict with law enforcement.

“I got to see the ugliness,” Eagle said, “and we have to prevent it from happening again.”

Eagle said many people don’t understand Native American connections to the land, and that “sacred places are connected to the water.” He said the existing pipeline siting process is causing conflict, and would like it changed to require consultation with tribes even if a project doesn’t cross a reservation. 
Ryan Zinke to Headline Petroleum Conference

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be the keynote speaker at this year's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.  

Zinke is a former Montana Congressman and state legislator. He served as a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008, retiring with the rank of commander.

The conference is scheduled May 22-24 in Bismarck. Other speakers scheduled to appear include former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, Gov. Doug Burgum and CEOs or top executives of seven major oil companies.

More than 40 speakers in all are scheduled to speak. The event also features a trade show with nearly 300 booths.

Learn more about the conference here. Click here to register.
Conservation Groups Wants to Talk Energy

The Badlands Conservation Alliance and ND Wildlife Federation have produced a video about the impact of oil and gas development in the Badlands of western North Dakota.

The two groups held a news conference this week to promote the film entitled "Keeping All the Pieces." The 15-minute video promotes conversations about the Badlands. Producers Mike McEnroe and Jan Swenson say the campaign aims to raise awareness about impacts of oil and gas development while inspiring further self-education and advocacy.

Click here to view the film. Click here for an article about it in the Bismarck Tribune.
Students Get Closer Look at Coal Industry

Education leaders in North Dakota’s coal-producing region offer a program that gives high school juniors and seniors an upfront look at the lignite industry.

The Coal Country Leadership Academy started about five years ago, according to Washburn School Superintendent Brad Rinas. He said it gives students an opportunity to see all aspects of the coal and power production business.

Click here to listen to Rinas’ comments.

Rinas, who is a member of WDEA’s Executive Committee, gives a lot of the credit for success of the academy to people in the industry who’ve given up their time to make it happen.

Click here to listen to Rinas’ comments.

Rinas was interviewed on the radio program Energy Matters. Click here and advance to the 18:15 mark to hear the full interview.

Click here to learn more about the Coal Academy.
Reclamation Conference set for Dickinson

Conservationists, landowners, energy producers and others are being invited to attend the 6th annual ND Reclamation Conference set for February 20-21 in Dickinson.

The event will be held at the Astoria Hotel and Convention Center. One of the conference organizers, Toby Stroh, says topics generally focus on land and water issues. But this year’s agenda looks at impacts to animals as well.

Click here to listen to Stroh’s comments.

Stroh, who is an Assistant Professor of Agriculture at Dickinson State University, said event sponsors have made it possible for students to participate in the conference. He said today’s graduates with degrees in agriculture have all sorts of career choices.

Click here to listen to Stroh’s comments.

Stroh made his comments during an interview on the radio program Energy Matters. Click here and advance to the 14:45 mark to hear the full interview.

Click here for more information about the Reclamation Conference. 
Williams County
Members' Voice -- Williams County

Looking back, Williams County Commissioner Wayne Aberle said 2017 was a steady year in the county. As prices began upward moves, oil activity and traffic were beginning to increase, Aberle said.

“It seems like things are going pretty good,” he said.

Aberle said as oil traffic picks up, the county will resume its work on maintaining rural roads. He said chip sealing paved roads is a priority in 2018.

Read the full story here.

Reminder: Williams County Highway Department frost law meeting will be held February 6.
Quick Connect



  • Harold Hamm: Bakken is as strong as ever -- CNBC

  • Shale sends US oil past historic 10 million barrel mark -- Bloomberg

  • US Jobs Report: Oil and gas jobs increase in January -- Rigzone

  • Canada, the next frontier for shale oil -- Reuters

  • Record fossil fuel production forecast for 2018, 2019 -- EIA

  • Failure to build pipelines creates natural gas shortage -- Forbes

  • Ohio Governor candidate Dennis Kucinich calls for end to drilling -- Cleveland.com

  • Ohio Democrats call Kucinich ideas "rash, naïve" -- WOSU Radio

  • D.C. Circuit ruling could shut down pipeline -- EE News


  • City of Minot backtracks on landfill expansion -- KX News
Factoid of the Week

Asphalt pavement is America’s most recycled product. The asphalt industry recycles asphalt at a rate of over 99%. Of the 2.27 million miles of paved roads in the U.S., 94% is surfaced with asphalt, including 65% of our interstate highways. Oil (or liquid asphalt) makes up 5% of the asphalt pavement material. The other 95% is aggregate.

Upcoming Events
February 3
Grand Williston Hotel

February 6
Williston

February 8
Bismarck

February 8
Dickinson

February 12-13
Bismarck

February 14
Bismarck

February 15
Watford City

February 20-21
Dickinson

February 21
Sweetwater Golf Course

February 21
Bismarck

March 6
Williston

April 10-11
Bismarck

May 22-24
Bismarck

July 16-18
Watford City
Oil prices and rig count

February 2, 2018

WTI Crude: $65.06
Brent Crude: $68.21
Natural Gas: $2.86


       North Dakota Active Rigs: 57 (unch)      2/2/2017 -- 40 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Contributor, Layout/design