May 26, 2017

Governor Meets with Oil & Gas Industry

Oil and gas company representatives attended an invitation-only meeting with Governor Doug Burgum this week to discuss ways to improve the industry in North Dakota.

In a news release, the Governor said the gathering was arranged to “discuss best practices and latest technologies for transporting crude oil and produced water and to improve monitoring, leak detection and communication of spills.”

Among the topics discussed were greater use of aerial drones to monitor pipelines and best practices for pipeline construction, monitoring and detection.

“Our administration is committed to improving spill prevention, encouraging the use of cutting-edge monitoring and detection measures and streamlining how spills are reported and analyzed to determine the root causes of pipeline leaks,” Burgum said.

Click here to read the news release.

Click here to read an article by Nick Smith in the Bismarck Tribune.

ND Petroleum Council Logo

Oil & Gas Research Council Endorses 
Petroleum Council Marketing Plan

Following up on its Oil Can! campaign, the ND Petroleum Council has received a positive recommendation from the Oil and Gas Research Council for the next phase of its industry promotion campaign.

The Energy of North Dakota program will continue NDPC’s outreach programs, but there will also be more concerted efforts to develop materials and messages that are scalable, relatable to a millennial audience, and can be deployed through various channels.

The goal of the campaign is to transform North Dakotans’ “vague indifference” toward their state’s energy production into a deeply rooted, knowledge-based, prideful conviction. NDPC wants to instill in its stakeholders a “sense of achievement in becoming a significant force in energy production."

The marketing effort will not only highlight the industry’s economic contributions, but will also tout its environmental responsibility, ensuring spills or impacts are properly addressed and noting the strength of the state’s regulations and enforcement practices.

Click here to view the ND Petroleum Council presentation. 

Johnsrud Named McKenzie County Auditor/Treasurer

Erica Johnsrud will be McKenzie County’s next auditor/treasurer. County commissioners narrowed a field of nine candidates down to three for interviews at their May 16 meeting.

Commissioners Doug Nordby, Gene Veeder and Vawnita Best praised Johnsrud’s loyalty and work with other county employees. 

“I am humbled and honored to have been appointed to fill McKenzie County’s auditor/treasurer term by the board of county commissioners,” Johnsrud said. “I look forward to fulfilling the duties of the office and serving the citizens of McKenzie County in this expanded role.”

Johnsrud replaces Linda Svihovec, who resigned her position effective June 24.

Click here to read more in the McKenzie County Farmer. 

Williston Poised for Strong Year Economically 

Williston’s unemployment averages are showing a declining trend over the past three months, one of several indicators that activity in the Oil Patch is kicking up another notch, positioning the area for a strong year.

Williston’s unemployment in February was 3.8 percent, but has declined steadily since then to 3.4 percent, according to figures released by Williston Economic Development.

Shawn Wenko, Williston’s Economic Development Director, said he sees several other bright spots. Sales of single family homes are trending upward, and a downward trend in sales tax collections is leveling off. 

Click here to read more of Renée Jean’s article in the Williston Herald. 

Plains Tribes Work with Williston Airport on Cultural Discoveries

As initial dirt work is underway for the 1600-acre Williston Airport, indigenous cultural sites have been uncovered. So, Plains Native American Tribes are coming together to oversee the work. Participating tribes will send a representative to the project in biweekly rotations to be part of the construction monitoring.

It's unclear how many new cultural resources have been discovered through the additional monitoring. However additional fencing has been included in a change order to set off cultural sites.

Renee Jean's Williston Herald story is  here.
States Push for Stronger Oil Train Rules

Several state attorneys general are asking federal regulators to strengthen rules on trains transporting crude oil. 

The filing with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) says the government should not allow trains to transport oil with a vapor pressure of nine pounds per square inch or higher. 

Click here to read more from The Hill.

Oil Pipeline Leak Near Williston
Increased from 480 gallons to 16,800

The North Dakota Health Department has raised its estimate of an oil gathering line leak near Williston from 480 gallons to 16,800 gallons.

The spill resulted from a leak in a 4-inch diameter steel gathering line operated by Hiland Crude LLC about 11 miles northwest of Williston. The spill occurred on May 5 and was reported the next day.

Cleanup in the field where the line leaked has been ongoing since it was discovered.

Click here to read more from Prairie Business Magazine. 

OPEC Extends Production Cuts

In Vienna, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers on Thursday extended a pledge to cut 1.8 million barrels per day of output until the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Oil prices have not responded upward. In fact, crude prices dropped on Thursday as it became apparent that more or deeper cuts were not going to happen. In the US, which has the most timely and reliable inventory data, there are 516.3 million barrels of oil stocked away. That's 6% higher than when OPEC first decided to dial back output in November, according to the Energy Information Administration. story is here.

CNN story is  here.
ONEOK Sees Growth During Downturn, Poised for Future in the Bakken

ONEOK executives say the company is well positioned for the future. Even though the industry was impacted by the price downturn, ONEOK still had active projects in the Bakken.

Read more here from The Crude Life.
Motor Grader Boot Camp Attracts County Workers and Officials

More than 100 motor grader operators, county road supervisors and county commissioners attended Motor Grader Operator Boot Camp April 25-26. Those attending represented 31 of North Dakota's 53 counties.

The two-day event was held at the Burleigh County Highway Department shop just outside of Bismarck. The shop space provided areas for demonstrations and maintenance workshops. Nearby gravel roads provided ample opportunities for hands-on operator training and equipment demonstrations.

Read more from Curt Glasose in his monthly report here.
Glue for Gravel Roads
and Cutting Edge Demo

"The gravel that clays together stays together." Specifying good gravel is tough enough, but  how can we make poor and tired gravel perform better? While even the best of gravels can't match the year around qualities of asphalt, we can sweeten the mix and make them better with a small percentage of clay.

In  a series of meetings in June, Steve Monlux, PE and LVR Consultant will share secrets of adding a very small percentage of clay to hold the gravel surfacing together. Not having glue in your gravel results in wash boarding, dust, float, safety hazards and high maintenance costs. 

June 13, 2017
9:00 - 2:00  (Mountain Time)
10:00 - 3:00  (CST)
Billings County Shop, 3817 High St., Fryburg, ND 

June 14, 2017
9:00 - 2:00 (CST)
Morton County Highway Dept., 2916 37th St NW, Mandan, ND

June 15, 2017
9:00 - 2:00 (CST)
Ramsey County Highway Dept.,  919 5th St SE, Devils Lake ND

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  1 week prior to workshop
Class limit: 30
$25.00 per person -  NDLTAP will invoice your entity after the training is complete

Click  here to read more.
Quick Connect
  • Canada proposes methane standards for oil and gas drilling The Hill

  • Industry Figures Favor an Increase in the Federal Fuel Tax Inside Source

  • Putting Frac Sand Supply, Demand and Prices in Perspective RBN Energy

Upcoming Events

May 31
ND Legislative Management Committee
Interim Study Selection

June 5
ND Industrial Commission  

June 13, 14,15
13th: Fryburg
14th: Mandan
15th: Devils Lake

July 17-19
Bismarck Event Center

October 4-5
Raymond Family Community Center
Oil prices and rig count

May 26, 2017

                                                      WTI Crude: $49.80
                                                   Brent Crude: $52.00
                                                     Natural Gas: $3.30

              North Dakota Active Rigs: 50 (Down 1)        5/26/16 -- 29 rigs

Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs
Western Dakota Energy Association