oil boom

The state Emergency Commission has turned down rental assistance and temporary raises for state workers affected by energy development.

The program was set up through the state Office of Management and Budget to help state workers deal with high rents and the high cost of living brought on by the ol boom. The request was for $47,000 – to provide help to employees of the state Tax Department, the Historical Society and Game and Fish.

But committee members say the environment has changed in the West.

Senate leaders say they will be working hard over the next several weeks to get the oil tax distribution formula closer to what western Legislators and Gov. Jack Dalrymple had proposed.

The oil extraction tax is currently allocated so that 25 percent of the collections go back to the oil impacted counties, while 75 percent goes to the state. The Governor’s budget proposed a 60-40 split – with local governments getting 60 percent. The House decided the percentage should be 30-70, with the 30 percent share going to local government.

Writer Taylor Brorby's Oil Boom Stories

Oct 27, 2014

Writer Tayler Brorby spent three months traveling throughout the Bakken, gathering oil boom stories. And he'll be editing an anthology of creative writing that examines fracking in America. 

Legislative committee rejects landfill bill

Oct 17, 2014

Members of the legislative Energy Development and Transmission Committee have rejected a bill which could remove public votes on landfills and solid waste disposals related to oil and natural gas exploration.

Todd Leake farms southwest of Grand Forks, and testified before the committee against the bill. He says the bill is another example of the oil industry bypassing the rights of counties in North Dakota.  Leake says the waste in question may be labeled as "non-hazardous" by the EPA, but the opposite is true.

ND Oil milestone reached

Jun 18, 2014
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A milestone in North Dakota’s oil production.

"In April, we made the milestone of a million barrels a day," said State Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing.

Helms says North Dakota becomes one of four states to ever exceed the million-barrel-a-day mark. North Dakota is number two in the production of oil, behind number one Texas.

Oil production nearing the million-barrel-a-day mark

Apr 13, 2014

North Dakota’s oil production continues to inch closer to the one-million-barrel-a-day mark.

In February, the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin was producing more than 951,000 barrels of oil a day. That’s an increase from January’s 935,000 barrels a day mark. There are 191 rigs working in the Bakken. And state mineral resources director Lynn Helms says he expects that count to remain somewhere around 195 rigs.

The president of the North Dakota Association of Builders says he expects the demand for single-family housing will be growing in Williston.

Ken Callahan is from Williston. He says the city has received a lot of publicity lately because of very high rents. But Callahan says as more multi-family apartment projects are completed, the rents will start coming down.

Callahan says as the oil industry transitions to more production and less exploration, workers will move to Williston with their families. And he says the city is already seeing that.

Wardner: No need for a special session

Mar 11, 2014

North Dakota's Senate Majority Leader says there is no need to call a special legislative to deal with issues in the west caused by oil development.

Democratic legislative leaders have been calling for a special session. But Sen. Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) says now is not the time.

"When we get into the regular session, we will be able to do a better job of taking care of the western counties in the oil impact area," said Wardner. "If we go into a special session, they will not get what they want."

Continental VP: Oil play maturing in ND

Feb 26, 2014

A vice president for Continental Resources says while there has been a slowdown on the number of oil rigs working in the Bakken, he expects development of that resource will continue for a number of years.

Blu Hulsey says he predicts there will still be long-term development of the oil play in North Dakota.

Local governments in western North Dakota are telling their stories to legislators – hoping for some financial relief to help deal with the oil boom’s growing pains.

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