November 24, 2017
LoadPass Advisory Meeting Dec 6 in Stanley

The advisory committee that provides recommendations for the operation of LoadPass Permits, WDEA's uniform truck permitting system, will meet December 6 in Stanley.

The advisory committee is chaired by Williams County Commissioner Wayne Aberle. Its members include county commissioners, county sheriffs and road and bridge superintendents. Industry representatives and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

The advisory committee will discuss the possibility of adding new types of permits to facilitate the needs of the trucking industry, while still minimizing damage to city, county and township roads. Discussion will include issues that arise during frost law season each spring, as well as a possible "gap permit" for the gap between roads rated at 80,000 pounds and those rated at 105,500 pounds.

The meeting will begin at 1:00 pm CST in the Community Hall Room at Mountrail County's South Complex, 8103 61st St NW, in Stanley.

Click here to see the agenda.
Flex Pipe Reduces Frac Water Truck Traffic

Skeptics had their doubts that using flexible pipe to move water would work during North Dakota's brutally cold winters. But the flex pipes do work, and they've taken literally thousands of frac water trucks off the road.

ND Petroleum Council President Ron Ness talked about flex pipes during an interview with Scott Hennen this week on the radio program Energy Matters. Ness said he thought the water would freeze, but learned the key is to keep it moving.

Click here to listen to Ness' comments.

Ness said there have been a few issues with use of the pipes, mainly related to inconsistency in the permitting process.

Click here to listen to Ness' comments.

Ness said the Petroleum Council is working with the ND Department of Transportation to streamline and standardize the permitting process.

Energy Matters airs every Tuesday from 3:00–5:00 CST on KFYR and KLTC Radio. It is rebroadcast Saturday on WZFG and KTGO Radio.
McKenzie Co. Examines Oilfield Waste Facility

The ND Department of Health held a public hearing in Watford City this week to hear concerns about a proposed radioactive materials handling license for an oilfield waste disposal facility.

McKenzie County Planning and Zoning Director Jim Talbert, who was interviewed this week on the radio program, News and Views with Joel Heitkamp, said the facility is not much different than a saltwater disposal well. But he said the liquid would also include other drilling byproducts.

Click here to listen to Talbert's comments.

County and township officials are concerned about the facility's proximity to wells in the Tobacco Garden aquifer. Talbert said the main concern is integrity of the pipe.

Click here to listen to Talbert's comments.

Waste Management, the company that wants to build the facility, said in its application that there is a need for safe and economic oilfield waste disposal in North Dakota. Currently, solid oilfield waste is disposed of in landfills or drill cuttings pits.

Click here to listen to Talbert's News and Views interview.

Click here for Amy Dalrymple's article in the Bismarck Tribune.
Ward County Jail Triples Capacity

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday in Minot celebrated the completion of a two-year project to expand the Ward County Jail.

The $38 million project increases the jail's capacity from 104 beds to 300 beds. Sheriff Bob Barnard said the county will begin moving inmates into the new facility December 15.

The project was completed ahead of schedule, beating the June 2018 deadline by more than six months. The work was funded by a half-cent increase in the sales tax.

Public tours of the jail are scheduled for Monday, November 27, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Click here for a story from KFYR-TV.
Williston Report Reflects Improving Economy

A new report by DAWA Solutions Group shows a growing sense of optimism in Williston and Williams County.

"Throughout the year I have heard much optimism and reports of increased activity from our clients and other business owners reflecting an economy and business activity that have been on the upswing over that of 2016," said DAWA President Jeff Zarling.

Zarling's report notes that "Oil activity is up, taxable sales are up and employment is up."

He said it was well understood that the pace of economic activity during the Bakken Boom was unsustainable and the inevitable correction has led to what is commonly referred to as the “new normal.”

"We appear to have moved through a bottom and entered into a moderate range of economic activity and a more measured rate of growth," Zarling said.
MHA Nation Hires FIGG to Study
More Missouri River Bridges

MHA Nation tribal agencies will meet next week to discuss the possibility of one or two new bridges across the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea.

Specifically, the feasibility study will consider possible bridge and connecting road locations at Charging Eagle Bay and a Missouri River crossing in the area of Elbowoods. A key component of the feasibility study is an outreach effort centered on the needs and concerns of Fort Berthold residents.

Figg Engineering and CH2M have been hired to work on the feasibility study. The same companies also designed and oversaw the construction of the Four Bears Bridge at New Town.

Click here to read more.
Coteau Mine Receives Safety Recognition

The employees of The Coteau Properties Company’s Freedom Mine were recognized with the National Mining Association Sentinels of Safety Award at a ceremony Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Sentinels of Safety are awarded annually to the nation’s safest mines with a minimum of 4,000 injury-free hours. The Freedom Mine also won the award in 1986 and 2004.

"We are very proud of the employees at the Freedom Mine for being the safest large surface mine in the country," said Bryan Walther, president of The Coteau Properties Company.

All of Freedom Mine’s production – about 14.5 million tons per year – is sold to Dakota Coal Company, a subsidiary of Basin Electric, to fuel the nearby Antelope Valley Station, Leland Olds Station, and Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant.

Click here to see Basin Electric news release.
NDDOT to Hold Public Hearings
on Medora, Fryburg & Hebron Exits

The ND Department of Transportation will conduct public input hearings next week in Medora and Hebron on proposed improvements to I-94 interchanges in the area.

Meetings will be held Nov. 28 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm MST at the Billings County Building in Medora, and from 5:30 to 7:30 CST at the Hebron Community Center.

The meeting in Medora will discuss proposed improvements and detour routes for the east Medora Interchange (Exit 27), and for Fryburg Interchange (Exit 36). The project consists of overlaying the bridge decks of the two structures and other incidentals.

The meeting in Hebron will discuss proposed improvements and traffic control for I-94 beginning west of Young Mans Butte Separation and ending two miles west of the Eagles Nest Interchange.

Click here for additional details in DOT news releases about the two hearings.
Quick Connect

  • Oil revenue impacts McLean County budget -- KFYR TV

  • Op-ed: Keystone XL not perfect, but our best option -- The Hill

  • Tiny house builders hope to block Canadian pipeline -- Treehugger

Factoid of the Week

Before 1917 rural highways had no center lines or stripes. By 1955, 49 states had adopted white as the standard. Oregon was the lone holdout, arguing that yellow lines were safer. Folks there must have felt smug in 1971 when the federal government mandated that centerlines be yellow. White stripes are only used on roads where traffic moves in the same direction.

Source : The Road Taken: The History and Future of America's Infrastructure , by Henry Petroski
Upcoming Events
Oil prices and rig count

November 24, 2017

WTI Crude: $58.95
Brent Crude: $63.86
Natural Gas: $2.81

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 54 (down 2)      11/24/16 -- 37 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs