Oil production moving into growth mode

According to this Bismarck Tribune article, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms thinks the oil industry is moving into growth mode here, and predicts hitting new oil production records in the first half of 2018. Further, he predicts an additional 5-10 drilling rigs moving into the area all thanks to the recent increases in oil prices.
ONEOK proposes $1.4 billion pipeline

The Elk Creek Pipeline – an approximately 900-mile, 20-inch diameter pipeline that is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 – will have the capacity to transport up to 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) of unfractionated NGLs from near the company's Riverview terminal in eastern Montana to Bushton, Kansas. "The existing Bakken NGL and Overland Pass Pipelines are operating at full capacity. Additional NGL takeaway capacity is critical to meeting the needs of producers who are increasing production and are required to meet natural gas capture targets in the Williston Basin," said Terry K. Spencer, ONEOK president and chief executive officer.

Read more and view larger map image in this Oneok press release or this Bismarck Tribune article.
January Economy at a Glance released

A few highlights:
  • McKenzie County's 2017Q3 taxable sales came in at $57,004,479. That is an increase of nearly 4 million dollars compared with 2017Q2.
  • Both Occupancy and Restaurant/Lodging Tax distributions for Watford City were higher for 2017 than 2016.
  • Unemployment for McKenzie County is at 1.8% for November.

See data like that and more in this month's Economy at a Glance.
Ybarra's MDH trail work again in national spotlight

The national sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer REI featured the work of Watford City's Nick Ybarra with the Maah Daah Hey Trail in a recent Keeper of the Outdoors series article.
This follows on the heels of an Upworthy/Nature Valley video and article that has more than 2 million views to date.

In addition to nonprofit work to keep the trail well-maintained, Ybarra coordinates races which brings in hundreds of people from across the nation and world to experience the beauty of the badlands and the storied Maah Daah Hey Trail.
Highway 85 sees more traffic in 2017

Of the major North-South roads in North Dakota, US Highway 85 sees by far the most permitted oversize and overweight traffic. While the stretch between Watford City and Williston was upgrade to four lanes a few years back, the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association is leading the charge in having this heavily-traveled, important (local, state and national) piece of our transportation system upgraded and improved to four lanes from south of Watford City to Interstate 94.
Toastmasters informational meeting

To gauge interest in starting a Toastmasters club in the Watford City area, there will be an informational meeting at 6pm on Monday, January 22, 2018 at the upstairs meeting room at the Watford City Veterinary Center.

Toastmasters is an international organization that exists to help its members improve their public speaking and leadership skills.
Watford City native starts new business

Jeff Kummer, a Watford City native, petroleum engineer and professional minerals manager has recently opened McKenzie Minerals Management. It assists area land and mineral owners in organizing, understanding, and evaluating their mineral assets through the lens of a petroleum engineer. It is located in the new GenPark building at 500 2nd Ave SW, Watford City.
Equipping high school students with career and technical education

Watford City High School is working to prepare their students for careers in whatever form that may look like. Sometimes that is preparing them to move on to a 4 year college experience, and for others that means giving them technical education (e.g. welding, CDL) while in school that is more immediately applicable to other workforce needs in the area. Formerly known as the vocational education program, the Cooperative Work Experience pairs high school seniors with local businesses that gives the students real-world experience that may help them determine career paths to follow. A career fair will be held on January 31 to have the local businesses meet with prospective students for that program. For more information on these initiatives view The Roundup article or contact Scott Wisness or Rachel Meuchel at Watford City High School.
Save the Date: Watford City multi-industry job fair

The Job Service North Dakota Multi-Industry Job Fair will be coming to the Rough Rider Center on April 26, 2018 from 11am-3pm. Employer registration information to be released soon.
Wheat show brings in Youtube sensation

One of the featured keynotes coming to the 65th Annual Hard Spring Wheat Show is the Peterson Farm Bros. The brothers have a unique way of spreading agricultural awareness. They do it through parody songs they post on their Youtube channel--and their videos have garnered millions of views.

The show will be held at the Grand Williston Hotel & Convention Center February 6-8, 2018.
Miss Willow's Nest expands to Watford City

With a successful store in Dickinson, the "boutique and funky junk" store Miss Willow's Nest Boutique is now open at 360 Main Street, Watford City on Monday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
North Dakota Brewers Guild coming to Watford City

Held in conjunction with the POCO RiO FRiO cross country ski, fat bike and snowshoe races happening earlier in the day, the North Dakota Brewers Guild will host a brew fest in Watford City at the Rough Rider Center from 6:30-11:00pm on Saturday, February 10. The event will have food, entertainment, and 50 brews from 11 different brewers' booths. For more information and tickets visit the Brewer's Guild website.
Local organizations awarded grants

The organizations receiving grants this year from the McKenzie County Community Foundation include the Save the Maah Daah Hey, Summit Counseling Services, Long X Arts Foundation, and the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County. The McKenzie County Community Foundation is a permanent endowment that provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants annually to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in McKenzie County.
ND in top five for best states to raise a family

According to a study performed by Wallethub, North Dakota ranks #4 overall in the nation in their listing of "Best states to raise a family." The rankings were compiled looking at 42 indicators of family-friendliness. Within the study, North Dakota ranks #1 in "Education and Childcare" and the "Socioeconomic" categories.
Ewing signs with NDSU

Watford City High School football standout Jaydn Ewing has signed with the legendary NDSU Bison football team. Earlier this month, the team brought home the sixth national FCS championship in seven years.
Concert association to kick off with free concert

The newly-formed Watford City Concert Association as a part of the Long X Arts Foundation is hosting a free Mainstreet Souvenirs concert by Scott Kirby. The multi-media stage performance features live piano music, spoken narrative, and a video presentation. The association will use the concert as a way to introduce themselves to the community and how the concert association will work.

The concert will be at 7:30pm on Saturday, February 24th at the Watford City Performing Arts Center at Watford City High School.
Registration open for oil conference

Registration is now open for those wanting to attend or reserve a booth space at The Bakken Conference & Expo. The event will be held July 16-18, 2018 at Watford City's Rough Rider Center. Registration is free for those who are operating producers, or from active drilling or completion companies.

Check out the upcoming events listed on our community calendar like the Let's Hygge event at the Pioneer Museum on Jan 19.
View past issues of the monthly update here.