oil and gas

"I call it 'tapping the brakes.'"

That’s how state mineral resources director Lynn Helms described June oil and gas production numbers.

Afer oil production set a new record in May -- at 1,246,355 barrels a day, production in June dropped to 1,225,510 barrels a day.

"Natural gas production also dropped slightly.

"There's a record number of wells producing," Helms said. "But they're restricting production from wells."

Helms said companies are voluntarily restricting production because of gas capture issues.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It’s been in business in the Williston Basin since 1980.

It started as Neset Consulting. It has now re-branded to simply “Neset”  -- because it has branched out into other areas of the oil industry.

Neset is owned 100 percent by Kathy Neset. Her firm has also received a national certification as a “Women’s Business Enterprise.”

Neset says she’s now working to attract more women into the oil and gas business.

"I'm trying to give a hand to that next young lady who is trying to come up in this industry," Neset said. "I want to show that person a way forward."

Oil and gas producers show optimism at the WBPC

May 23, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Optimism in North Dakota's oil industry.

"It's extremely high," said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms. "I'm sure a lot of that is being driven by a better oil price, as well as information from the Energy Information Agency that the Bakken has returned to be the best play for capital investment, in terms of productivity achieved for a single driling rig."

Helms said that’s due to continued improvement in the technology used in the Bakken.

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.