Local Stories

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

Way up in northern North Dakota lies an old oilfield with a problem 60 years in the making.

It’s noticeable on farmers’ land, like the fields harvested by Clarke Stevens near the small town of Glenburn.

His wheat fields span far across the prairie. In the middle is a 3-acre patch of barren soil.

“We’re always farming around areas like this, and every year they continue to grow,” Stevens said.

This is the site of an old brine pit. Decades ago, trucks took this salty wastewater — produced alongside oil from nearby wells — and dumped it into this pit.

ND University System

North Dakota’s University System is stepping up its game when it comes to cyber-security education and research.

"When we did the workforce advisory council the Legislature had us do, we identified the vast majority of companies felt uncertain, and needing more cyber-security training on the prart of their workforce," said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott.

Work progressing on Williston airport

Jul 17, 2017

Dirt is being moved for the new Williston airport.

Later this month, bids will be taken for the new runway – and construction of the terminal will begin later this year.

It's a $265 million facility.

State Aeronautics commission directorn Kyle Wanner says later this month, bids will be taken for the new primary runway.

"We're hopeful we ged good bids," Wanner said. "That project will start later this year."

And construction will start on the new terminal later this year as well.

Amy Sisk / Prairie Public

The number of wells producing oil is at an all-time high in North Dakota at 13,876, but this isn’t translating into higher oil output.

The latest numbers released by the state show that oil production in May was above 1 million barrels of oil per day. But it was down just slightly from the month before despite more wells operating.

At his monthly press briefing Friday, mineral resources director Lynn Helms said the reason is two-fold.

Morton County

North Dakota has been denied reimbursement from the federal government for the costs it incurred in dealing with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

In a letter dated May 18th, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s request for a disaster declaration because of DAPL. The state had 30 days to appeal – but that was denied as well.

"I'm disappointed," said Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "The whole incident was on federal property, and they had a responsibility to take care of it."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Another impact of the drought in south-central North Dakota.

The developer of a wind farm and new transmission line in Oliver County will delay replanting of trees and shrubs affected by the development. That replanting is required by the Public Service Commission.

Oliver Wind III, LLC will delay planting until next year.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the delay is a good idea.

"They were concerned there would be a low survivability of the trees and shrubs they did plant," Fedorchak said. "That's because of the lack of rain and drought conditions."

ND University System

A job change in the University System office.

Lisa Feldner has been the chief of staff to Chancellor Mark Hagerott, as well as the System’s information technology director. She will now just handle IT.

"Because of the urgent needs we have in cyber-security, and she was an architect for the North Dakota research network some years ago, as well as in high-performacnce computing, I've put her focus on those things," Hagerott said.

Hagerott said there’s a lot to do in that regard.

Self-care coach Randi Kay shares an essay on the power of the word should. 

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

Coal state lawmakers want to make cleaning up coal more economically attractive. A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced Wednesday they are re-introducing a bill to expand tax credits for projects to capture carbon dioxide.

The coal industry faces a big problem in cleaning up emissions: cost. It’s often a barrier to moving clean coal technology out of the research stage and getting it to work on a commercial scale.

A shortage of oil workers

Jul 13, 2017

Standing on the shoulder of I-25 in eastern Wyoming, see a herd of pronghorn antelope running off that way and on this side of the interstate a billboard which reads “Crude Oil Drivers Wanted. Text Crude to 865-337-8415.”

This is happening in oil fields from North Dakota down to Texas.

HELMS: “You'll see close to 200 frack crew jobs listed for North Dakota,"

North Dakota Mineral Resources Director, Lynn Helms at a press conference last month.

HELMS: "The rigs are outrunning the frack crews."


News from NPR

A new Senate campaign ad for Rep. Mo Brooks uses audio from last month's shooting at a congressional baseball practice that left Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., gravely wounded.

Brooks was among the congressmen practicing at the Alexandria, Va., baseball diamond and highlights the experience as he competes in the GOP Senate primary in Alabama, a traditionally conservative state.

Madagascar's Toko Telo Has A Synergy All Its Own

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Native Forest Birds In Kauai In Peril

26 minutes ago

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Senate Health Care Vote, Simplified

1 hour ago

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance health care legislation to the Senate floor. That would open up debate on an Obamacare repeal and/or replacement plan.

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