oil and gas

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The March numbers are in for oil and gas production in North Dakota’s Williston Basin.

While oil production was down slightly, signs point to record production by this summer.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms likes to have a theme for these monthly Director’s Cuts.

For the March report?

"Let's get ready to rumble," Helms said.

Helms said March was pretty cold, with a couple of snowstorms, and some windy days – all affected oil production. The March numbers were down about 3000 barrels a day from February.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Badlands Conservation Alliance and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation want to get a conversation started on oil, gas and energy development in North Dakota.

The two groups have produced a film called “Keeping All the Pieces,” in an attempt to get more public interest in the topic.

The groups say there's no planning document for development, or for reclamation.

"We have 14,000 wells now, and we're on our way to 50,000 to 60,000," said North Dakota Wildlife Federation past President Mike McEnroe. "What do we want out of this, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now?"

Dave Thompson

October was a good month for oil production in North Dakota.

"I think the numbers are going to speak louder than anything I could," said state mineral resources director Lynn Helms. "It's really pretty remarkable."

What's remarkable is production jumped to nearly 1.2 million barrels a day -- a 78,000 barrel a day increase from September.

"That is the largest month-over-month increase we've ever had in North Dakota," Helms said in his monthly "Director's Cut" media briefing.

Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday that he is directing his department to speed up permitting for oil and gas leases on public lands.

Zinke wants to make it easier and quicker for fossil fuel companies to drill on federal land.

"We’re not going to be an adversary to creating wealth and opportunity on some of our public lands," he said on a call with reporters.

Two Governor candidates are calling for an outside audit of the state Mineral Resources Department.

Republican Paul Sorum and Democrat Marvin Nelson say they are concerned some mineral owners aren’t making what they should in terms of oil and gas royalties. Nelson says he’s heard from mineral owners who get their royalty checks – only to be followed up by a second check – or a notice of overpayment.

Helms: Oil industry 'hanging in there'

Sep 15, 2015

For his monthly “Director’s Cut” oil and gas production update, state mineral resources director Lynn Helms picks a theme.

This month, the theme is “Hang in There.”

"I'm reminded of that poster from the 1970s, where the poor little frazzled cat is hanging on a rope, and appears to be just hanging on," said Helms.

Helms says that’s his analogy, based on the fundamentals of the oil industry. The report reflects July numbers.

ND Petroleum Council hosts teachers

Jun 10, 2013

The North Dakota Petroleum Council is hosting 40 teachers from across the state during its annual Teacher Education Seminar.

Ron Ness is President of the council. He said teachers learn about North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.

“The important part, of course, is that they (teachers) understand why math, physics, and science matter right here in North Dakota,” Ness said. “They can then take it back to their classrooms.”

Ness said the teachers are from all corners of North Dakota and teach a wide variety of subjects.