Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A natural gas company has paid a $2500 fine for a violation of pipeline safety laws.

Great Plains Natural Gas Company failed to follow a federal rule that says the pipeline must be checked for leaks every 15 months. The line in question runs from Hankinson to Fairmount.

Public Service Commission staff found the violation. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said PSC pipeline inspectors work hand in hand with federal authorities to do these inspections.

Amy SIsk / Inside Energy

With Donald Trump as president, North Dakota’s oil patch got its wish: a permit to complete the massive Dakota Access Pipeline.

The easement to complete construction under the Missouri River was signed Wednesday. With that permit in hand, the 1,200-mile pipeline could carry Bakken crude to market in Illinois in as little as 80 days.

But the pipeline faces one final hurdle: a legal challenge from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies next to the pipeline route.

Corps, BIA To Close Pipeline Protest Camps

Feb 3, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy


The Bureau of Indian Affairs said on Friday that it will send law enforcement to North Dakota to help shut down pipeline protest camps on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The Standing Rock tribe led the months-long protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. But it recently requested help from the BIA to close the camps.

The BIA announcement comes after word that Army Corps of Engineers is giving the few hundred protesters who remain at other camps on its land until Feb. 22 to get out.

Trump plans to 'advance' DAPL

Jan 26, 2017

SISK: Sitting at his desk in the Oval Office, the new president got a lot of media attention signing a host of directives related to pipelines.

(fade in and boost cameras clicking)
TRUMP: This is with respect to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
(fade cameras clicking)

Tribe, state agree: Evacuate the DAPL protest camp

Jan 26, 2017

The Standing Rock Tribe is standing by its decision that the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp on Army Corps of Engineers land north of the reservation be cleared.

Some who have already left the camp have talked about coming back – in light of President Trump’s executive order that may clear the way for the Pipeline to be finished. It would go under Lake Oahe near that spot.

DAPL borrowing bill passes

Jan 18, 2017

The Senate has approved a bill to borrow another $11 million from the Bank of North Dakota for costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

It brings to $25 million the amount borrowed from the Bank for that purpose.

"We know that within the next month or so, tehre will be another $10 million to $15 million of cost," Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) said on the Senate floor. "Then there will be the question of clean-up costs, which will come forth."

Holmberg said the state Constitution makes the point for this borrowing authority.

Three more DAPL protesters arrested

Jan 17, 2017
Courtesy Morton County Sheriff's Department

Three more Dakota Access Pipeline protestors were arrested Monday after they tried to reach the horizontal drill pad.

That pad is the launching point for the pipeline to go underneath Lake Oahe.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office says around 200 protestors went north from the main camp to around 700 feet from the drill pad. The office says protestors cut out sections of the fence.  The three arrests were made near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers.

Slight drop in oil production reported in November

Jan 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

"Slips, Trips and Falls." 

That's State mineral resources director Lynn Helms' theme for the January director’s cut briefing – where he presented November’s oil and gas production.

"Production did slide -- or slip -- from October to November," Helms said. "About 10,000 barrels a day."

It dropped from 1,043,693 barrels a day in October, to 1,033,693 barrels a day in November. And Helms said about 80 percent of that slip happened on the Ft. Berthold reservation.

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

The coal industry is breathing a sigh of relief with Donald Trump about to enter the White House.

He campaigned on an energy platform that would strip away Obama administration regulations on the fossil fuel industry. Chief among them: the Clean Power Plan.

DAPL protest costs estimated at $22.3 million

Jan 10, 2017
Courtesy Morton County Sheriff's Department

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office estimates $22.3 million has been spent so far in dealing with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

In a statement, the office says it has been more than 150 days of response, adding up to more that 181-thousand hours. 91 in-state agencies have lent their support, along with 33 out of state agencies.

556 protestor have been arrested – more than 94 percent of them from out-of-state.