oil

Wildfire Poses Risks In Oil Country

Jul 17, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

When wildfires break out in oil and gas country, they pose certain risks -- like last week when a fire started up in the badlands of western North Dakota.

The blaze, dubbed the "Magpie Fire," raged through 5,400 acres, much of it in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands.

Medora District Ranger Shannon Boehm with the U.S. Forest Service said when the agency got word a fire had sparked, staff called oil companies operating in the region.

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.

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.

ND Petroleum Council hosts teacher seminar

Jun 20, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More than 50 teachers from North Dakota and eastern Montana are attending the annual North Dakota Petroleum Council Teacher education Seminar at Bismarck State College.

The Council has been doing these seminars for more than 30 years. Council president Ron Ness said it’s a great way to get the facts about the energy industry to the schools – and talk to students about the opportunities in the industry.

Judge's Order Poses Uncertain Future For Pipeline

Jun 15, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

After a year of protests and controversy, oil began flowing through the 1,200-mile Dakota Access pipeline earlier this month. But the pipeline’s ultimate fate is now uncertain after a federal judge issued a ruling on Wednesday that challenges parts of the environmental review completed before the pipeline was permitted.

From 'Oil Can!' to 'Energy of North Dakota'

Jun 8, 2017
Courtesy ND Petroleum Council

Different name – same idea.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council has been using the “Oil Can!” brand for its outreach campaigns. It’s changing that – to “Energy of North Dakota.”

Council spokesperson  Tessa Sandstrom said when people are asked what they think of when they hear “North Dakota,” it’s mainly about agriculture, wide open spaces, NDSU football and UND hockey.

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

There’s a sense of excitement taking over the Bakken oil patch, like at the M&H gas station in Williston.

Over the last year, it was pretty quiet for store manager Angela Neuman.

“Now, there’s a constant rush at some point or another during the day,” she said. “You notice more cars, you notice more fuel, you notice your fuel deliveries are more.”

She’s having to place more orders for her two most popular items: cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will continue curbing oil output through March 2018, opening the door for more production in the United States.

 

Late last year, OPEC -- along with Russia -- agreed to cut production. 

The cartel wanted to boost oil prices amid an oversupply of crude on the global market. 

But OPEC's cuts gave the United States an opportunity to fill in the gap. Oil production here soared and prices have moved up, but more slowly than anticipated. 

ND still producing over one million barrels of oil

May 12, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota is still producing over one million barrels of oil per day.

That’s shown in the just-released March production figures.

"We had a very slight downtick in production from February to March," said Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "Gas production was up 1.4%."

The figures: March oil production at 1,025,638 barrels a day. Natural gas at 1.7 MCF per day.

Amy Sisk / Prairie Public

Oil production is bouncing back, but North Dakota is having trouble finding workers to fill new energy jobs.

North Dakota is once again producing over 1 million barrels of oil per day, after the number dropped below a million this winter. It rebounded in February, according to figures released Thursday from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Pages