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New oil production record for ND

Dec 13, 2019

North Dakota's October oil and gas numbers are looking very good.

"It should be a very happy holiday for the state of North Dakota," said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms, as he released his October "Director's Cut" report. "We set a new record in oil production -- first time ever over 1.5 million barrels a day. That's a 5 percent increase."

Helms said natural gas production was up 4 percent. But the percentage of goas being flared remained the same, due to the production increase.

North Dakota ranchers who had to buy cattle feed because of the wet fall weather will now have an opportunity to be reimbursed for some of those costs.

The state’s Emergency Commission is making $250,000 available for ranchers who lost feed and had to buy hay. It’s targeted toward transportation costs.

The money comes from a Bank of North Dakota line of credit.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A coalition is working to make sure the infrastructure is in place as the use of electric vehicles expands in North Dakota.

And that means charging stations.

"In North Dakota, we have 150 electric vehicles, and 175 plug-in hybrids registered," said North Dakota Department of Transportation Strategic Innovation Manager Linda Sitz. She told the Legislature's interim Agriculture and Transportation Committee the state now has 22 charging stations.

North Dakota's Emergency Commission has approved a proposal by the state Health Department to convert a temporary part time position within its Life, Safety and Construction Division to a temporary full-time position.

That person would help review construction plans for long term care facilities and hospitals. That review is required by state law.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved an “advanced determination of prudence” for a proposed 151.2 megawatt wind farm in South Dakota.

Xcel Energy asked for that determination.

"It's to meet its obligation under an electric service agreement with Honeycrisp Power, a subsidiary of Google," PSC Chairman Brian Kroshus said. "It will provide electric service to Google's proposed data center, to be loacted at the Sherco generation station property in Becker, Minnesota."

Google wants to build a $600 million data facility there.

PSC looking at wind farm decommissioning plans

Dec 10, 2019

Thirty-four North Dakota wind farms have filed “decommissioning plans” with the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

The plans are now required for all wind projects. The first plan is due by the facility’s 10th year, and must be updated every five years after that. The plans deal with clean up of the sites. Those decommissioning plans include the cost per turbine location for reclamation.

The PSC requires a licensed North Dakota engineer to come up with those plans.

The Burleigh County Commission has narrowly voted to approve the settlement of refugees in that county.

That means the county will not become the first in the nation to reject refugee resettlement.

Gov. Doug Burgum had already agreed to accept refugees in the state. And with the Governor’s endorsement, it fell to the county commission to accept refugee resettlement. Two North Dakota counties – Grand Forks and Cass – have already agreed to take refugees. Lutheran Social Services manages the resettlement program.

Helium in the Williston Basin?

Dec 6, 2019

The Williston Basin is known for its oil and gas reserves.

But helium?

"We know that there's helium there in the Basin," said state geologist Ed Murphy. "That's from what little records we have on that."

Murphy said the Canadians have much more information on this.

"They've got economic quantities of helium, produced in the 1960s and 1970s," Murphy said. "They're back in now with a big drilling program."

Murphy said that program is centered on southern Saskatchewan.

"And we're saying, 'Let's take a look at North Dakota,'" Murphy said.

A Fargo construction firm has been fined $7,100 for violating North Dakota’s “One Call” law.

The Public Service Commission agreed to suspend $1,000 of the fine levied against KPH, because it was the first offense. KPH was charged with “failure to conduct excavations in a prudent manner.”

Xcel Energy reported seven separate violations, where 5/8 inch natural gas lines were hit, along with one 2 inch line, and one underground power line. This happened in Fargo.

After seeing a problematic if not impossible harvest this fall, growers with American Crystal Sugar were given a year-to-year comparison of the 2018 crop year and how it fares against the 2019 crop. Prairie Public’s Todd McDonald has details…


News from NPR

California Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected a bankruptcy restructuring plan by the state's largest utility, saying it "falls woefully short" of safety standards mandated under state law.

The governor's criticisms come a week after Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced a multi-billion dollar settlement proposal to pay victims of several wildfires linked to the utility's faulty equipment.

As New Zealand divers carry out a high-risk recovery operation to recover the body of a person killed in Monday's volcanic eruption on White Island, police have announced that the official death toll has risen to 15.

Much is expected of Karakoram Highway, which curls through the tall mountain ranges of northern Pakistan, reaching western China. Both countries are renovating it, seeing its potential as a trade route. Pakistan also views it as a way to consolidate control over territories contested with India.


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Bismarck Santa Run ~ News chat with Dave ~ Matt Reviews "Knives Out"

Friday, December 13, 2019 – RADD stands for Runners Against Destructive Decisions. Judge David Reich started the Santa Run to raise money and awareness for people in recovery. This year’s guest speaker is Billy Mills, who won Olympic gold at the 1964 Tokyo games. ~~~ News Director Dave Thompson joins us for a discussion of this week’s news. ~~~ Matt Olien reviews “Knives Out.”

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