In This Issue
Coming Events

November 11
Executive Committee
County Shop
Killdeer, N.D.
11:00 AM MT

November 12
LTAP Training --  Local Roadway Snow-Ice Control
8:00-4:00 MT
Dunn County Highway Dept
300 Central Ave. S., 
Killdeer, ND

10:00 - 3:00  CT
NC Research Extension Center
5400 Highway 83 South, Minot, ND

May 24-26, 2016
The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference
Bismarck, ND
Quick Links
Vision West ND
North Dakota Housing Finance Agency
North Dakota State Treasurer
Connect With Us

Thanks for reading this week's news in the oil, gas and coal producing region of North Dakota.
Halloween Trick or Treaters will be in neighborhood this weekend. 

Watch for the little goblins on streets.

Notice the  feature articles this week on Beulah and Beach.  These "Member Voices" helps each of the Association members share their  news.  Your turn is next. If we don't hear from you, we'll call you to see what's happend in the last week or two. So,  l et us know what's going on so we can share it.  Have a "sweet" weekend!
Oil Panel talks future at NDACO
 NDACO conference  oil panel speakers Monday

McKenzie county commissioner Ron Anderson introduced Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, Williston; Daryl Dukart, Dunn Center; Danette Welsh, ONEOK mid-stream gas processing and Lynn Helms, N.D. Dept. of Minerals Director as part of a panel discussion at the annual North Dakota Association of Counties conference in Bismarck Monday. The panel was to discuss managing the economics of the slow-down in the Bakken oil drilling.
Both Anderson and Dukart said they've had to adjust their county budgets with some cutbacks.  Dukart said Dunn County trimmed his county's budget by $32 million.   His county is still busy this fall despite the oil downturn as there are two large construction projects underway and they employ about 350 temporary workers. 
Sen. Bekkedahl warned the counties to be ready to tighten their belts as revenue forecasts are down and it's unlikely the legislative budget will be in the same shape as it was last time. "Expect less revenues" and "plan your budgets accordingly".,Bekkedahl said.
Danette Welsh said that ONEOK continues to build gas processing plants.  ONEOK has invested $3 billion dollars in the last 5 years.  They will have 9 plants in the state with two under construction right now.  One in McKenzie county should finish by the end of the year and in northern Dunn county, it should be on-line by 3rd quarter of 2016.  Only 3% of the economic stream of the oil well is in the gas so they watch the oil price as much as everyone else does.700 additional wells will be connected this year. 
There are 4 compressor stations that have been built with 3 more to to be built.  The seven are located in Divide, Dunn, and McKenzie.  A new project in Bear Creek, north Dunn county, will pick up stranded gas and it's a "very important plant that addresses flaring."  She added that "We are here to stay," talking about ONEOK's commitment to western North Dakota.  230 employees today and "we're still hiring.", she said.
Lynn Helms, state oil director, told the county group that one of the things that Moody's forecasters "never grasped" was that 70% of the sales tax from an oil exploration well is paid during fracturing and completion.  "It's anybody's guess when it's coming back," Helms said referring to the price of oil per barrel. 
He's been told by eight major oil companies that when the WTI price is $60, completions will begin happening in North Dakota.  There may be a six month build up to get that moving.  At $70, the rigs go back to work.  However, he said, there won't be as many rigs because the rigs are able to drill faster, more efficient, possibly see 110 rigs.  "At $50 WTI, the top producers are locked in.", he said.  He predicted possibly losing 6 or so more rigs but the industry is still optimistic with core counties.  Core counties are McKenzie, Williams, Mountrail and Dunn. 
Bakken exploration well in Dunn County (file photo)
"We will not exhaust our core drilling area," Helms told the group.  The Bakken oil play will go for 20 more years.  They expect to see 55,000 wells drilled.
The import of crude oil would mean an additional $9 per barrel for Bakken oil, he said.  N.D. oil production could possibly drop to 1 million barrels per day in 2017 "but I don't think that will happen."
He also said North Dakota will likely top it's population at 1 million people by 2020 given the number of births and the young people who have moved to the state. 
Census information predicts that the N.D. Hispanic population will be greater than the state's Native American population by 2020 as well.
Member's Voices
The construction of a urea plant north of Beulah at the gasification plant is keeping the energy sector active in Beulah. Economic Development Director John Phillips said the activity has given impetus to the conditional approval for building 250-300 unites in a workforce housing development, east of Beulah. Since the urea plant is expected to be completed and begin production in 2017, the workforce housing will be a valuable piece of the city infrastructure.
Newly-elected N.D. Coal Conversion Counties Chairman John Phillps adds Beulah's voice this week to Area Voices.

Coming up on November 12 is a public hearing in Beulah on the EPA Clean Power Plan. The hearing is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Health.

The plan must be developed and submitted to EPA by September 6, 2016; however, a two year extension of that deadline is possible.

Phillips said the EPA public hearing November 12 at 7 p.m. Central Time at the Beulah Civic Center. There will be further opportunity for residents, government officials and business leaders voice their opposition to the rules. The Beulah hearing is one of four in the state scheduled for November.  Other are schedules for Williston on November 9 and later in Bismarck and Fargo

Beach and Golden Valley County

Beach, N.D. walking path
The town of Beach continues to grow as projected. The Executive Director of Prairie West Development Foundation, Deb Walworth says Beach was projected to grow 60% and it has. She says ten years ago, Beach was about 1,000 people and today it's at or near the 1,600 mark. She says Beach still has oil field workers living in town.
She said, "They're staying and working here. They want to live here."
Construction in town continues as builders finish more single-family homes this fall, than were built in Beach in the last 20 years, Walworth says.
Temporary housing is also available, she said, "We have a few open apartments. A lot are one-bedroom apartments."
To support the city growth, the waste water treatment facility is expanded.   A fourth lagoon will bring up the city's capacity to meet its growth.

Uniform County Truck Permit- Paper, Rock, Scissors
It was unanimous.  The  11 counties represented Thursday this week in Watford City will ask the Executive Committee to phase out the self issuing paper permits and go completely electronic on-line, using the website.  The Executive Committee is tasked with setting the transition time to allow industry ample notice.

Since the 1980's oil boom, the NDAOGPC has administered a western oil county truck permit program so that the over-weight, over-width loads can move 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without having to stop at each courthouse during work hours, Vicky Steiner, Executive Director, NDAOPGC told the group.  Last year, it generated about $12.7 million dollars to 18 participating counties in permit fees for over-weight, over-width non-divisible loads on county and township roads.  Last year, Adams county received $850 from the system.

It was originally designed to let county commissioner know which roads were used and by which companies, Steiner said.  The program has evolved into a electronic system on the Internet with text notifications of road closures.

Cranes and rig moves are some of the heavier loads.  Some of the counties have hired permit operators of their own to move heavy loads to corridor roads.

One of the oil industry trucking company staffer said his company has taken the "long way around the back door" to accommodate townships requests and he said "we are glad to work with them".

On the self-issue paper permit, there is a time lag from the time of the trip and the payment of the trip to the county.  The electronic permit will ensure the bill is paid and the county will have notice of the route.  Paper permits are sometimes not filled in by the trucker until the truck is stopped by the sheriff's office deputies.  The electronic permit will have a two day "wiggle" room on the time of the trip but it will be filled out, pre-paid and on the record.

(left to right) Daryl Dukart, President NDAOGPC and Dunn County Commissioner, along with Truck Permit Operator Assistant Gail Mogen, Vicky Steiner, NDAOGPC Executive Director, Wayne Aberle, Vice-Chair Uniform County Truck Permit Committee and Williams County Commissioner, Janet Sanford, Truck Permit Operator and Brent Bogar, NDAOGPC researcher listen to comments on improving the permit service.

Photo courtesy Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County Auditor

The group discussed the state's study to increase allowed weights on state highways from 105,500 to 129,000.   It's an effort to harmonize with other states.  


Commissioners said it's likely to happen from the DOT information they've received and it is worrisome because the extra axles don't seem to pick up the load.  Wayne Aberle, Williams County, said his county has a "hard time keeping roads up to the 105.5."  They also discussed the difficulty in getting 100% participation from townships in permits.  By consensus, it appears that there is only a handful of townships that are causing most difficulties for the oil industry in permits. 


Greg Boschee, Mountrail County, suggested that perhaps townships could be required to participate or they could find their 6% revenue in jeopardy.  The group discussed ways to get a better participation rate from townships. In Williams county, about half of the 50 townships don't fill out the paperwork for the $1 million that the county would share with them, Aberle said.  Last spring, Divide county townships gave the county commissioners authority, through their road dept., to permit township roads, setting preferred routes and permission to close roads.  Brent Bogar will be speaking at the N.D. Township Association annual meeting in December.


The group formed a smaller sub-committee to work on several substantial issues including: restricted fees, group rig move permit, annual over-dimension permits.

The NDAOGPC Executive Committee will likely look at an end date for the paper permits by March 1, 2016 as suggested by the group.  They are also recommending no refunds on paper permits that remain unused.

Around the west

Ambulance's three life-saving rigs finally have a new home after months of anticipation.  Construction on the new 6,000-square-foot ambulance garage, located at 111 Highway 12 in Bowman, progressed throughout spring and finally wrapped last month. The ambulances were officially parked in their new structure Sept. 25 and a community open house was scheduled for Wednesday.  More

Two Companies out of Bakken
As crude oil prices hang low, about $43 per barrel Monday, some North Dakota operators are trying to divest interests in the Bakken.  More

Creative ideas needed
This mascot represents the core of what the Ports-to-Plains Alliance is all about:  Highway Expansion. Help them name the mascot.  Send your award winning names here.
Land Board Awards $500,000 to township in Williams County
On Thursday, the N.D. State University and School Lands board -commonly referred to as the Land Board, awarded $500,000 to the township seeking impact dollars for a road in Williams County.  With the downturn in oil price, the oil impact fund "bucket"might not fill to the appropriated amount of $139 million for grants. The State Land Board agreed to fund the project by 50%.

Patrick McGarry, Williston, said he represented the township.  He asked the Land Board that it be given an emergency priority because of the unsafe condition of the road.  "We're very pleased," he said.  "We are going to do the road.", he said.  Rep. Patrick Hatlestad also attended the meeting along with a Williston business owner, Gary Chillcott, Vac-u-jet. 

A couple thousand feet north of the Williston City limits sits a rutted road carrying heavy local industrial traffic. Organizers and supporters of the 58th Street Improvement Project asked the North Dakota Land Commissioner, Lance Gaebe to recommend $1.1 million of the state's emergency oil impact money to be used to repair and improve the east-west street including pavement, curb and gutter.  
ND Dept. of Trust Lands Logo
Given the reduced oil price, Gaebe determined that it is a possibility that the miscellaneous category which has $6.8 million to be appropriated may not fill if the oil price stays under forecast.  Because of the uncertainty of the "bucket" filling, he rejected the project but the Land Board agreed unanimously to allocate some of the contingency to it.  
Land Board members are: Governor Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenhjem, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, Secretary of State Al Jaeger and Dept. of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler.

The Missouri Ridge Township received $200,000 from the impact fund in the last biennium, but set it aside until it could be paired with enough money to do more than a temporary repair. The complete project is estimated to cost $1.3 million.

The Land Board also awarded $7.2 million in energy impact grants to western local health units, fire districts and airports as allocated in categories by the last legislative session.  A total of $139 million was allocated for existing impacts as determined by legislators.

ND Oil production stats
NYMEX report 10/30/15

WTI Crude : $46.14
Brent Crude : $49.09
Natural Gas : $2.21

Please take your time to review all materials and links provided for your convenience. We at the ND Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties will continue to provide you up-to-date information on upcoming events and news happening in North Dakota's oil and gas producing counties!


Brent Bogar
Research Consultant

Mike Kopp

Mykuhls Photography

ND Association of Oil & Gas Producing Counties  
Vicky Steiner
Executive Director

NDPC Member Publications: