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General News

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A project is planned for next year to use natural gas produced in the Bakken for enhanced oil recovery in horizontal wells.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms said XTO Energy is planning to use natural gas for enhanced recovery in 9 wells. He said this will use produced natural gas from surrounding wells.

Helms said this is different from a project spearheaded by Liberty Resources. That project failed.

An oil company is proposing to use carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery in Slope and Bowman Counties.

Danbury Resources proposes a 12 inch carbon dioxide pipeline from Montana to the Cedar Hills oil field. The CO2 would come from natural gas plants in Wyoming. The gas would be injected into those conventional wells, with the hope of getting more oil out of them.

The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the proposal. But Commissioners say they like the concept.

EERC-led project aims to reduce oil spills

Dec 18, 2019
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center is heading a program to more quickly detect weaknesses and leaks in pipelines.

It’s called the “intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program” – iPipe.

EERC’s Jay Almlie said it brings together researchers and industry to test new technologies. Almlie told the state Industrial Commission about some of the successes. One is “Pipers,” a company based in Calgary, Alberta. It uses a golf-ball sized device, dropped into the pipeline.

"This really is 'Star Trek' technology," Almlie told the Commission.

The Legislature’s Revenue Advisory Committee has rehired IHS Markit as its financial consultant, to put together a Legislative revenue forecast for the 2021-2023 biennium.

The vote was unanimous.

The other bid came from the UND Institute of Policy and Business Analytics

In the last Legislative session, IHS was criticized for what some lawmakers considered to be a lackluster budget presentation, that left a number of unanswered questions. But committee members said they think the IHS representatives now know what lawmakers want from them.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes says the recent search for a missing woman has revealed staffing issues with federal law enforcement – specifically BIA police.

Mark Fox told the Legislature’s Tribal Taxation Committee he was very happy with the help the tribe received from the state and counties in the search for Olivia Lone Bear. Her body was found in a submerged truck in Lake Sakakawea – but the investigation continues into how she died.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Since the US Supreme Court decision, requiring on-line retailers to submit state and local sales taxes, North Dakota has collected $27 million.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger gave that information to the Legislature's interim Tribal Taxation committee. Rauschenberger said more than 5700 on-line retailers have registered to remit the tax. And he said expects collections to continue to grow.

'Dakota' the Hadrosaur exhibit being retooled

Dec 17, 2019
State Historical Society of North Dakota

A new dinosaur exhibit will open at the North Dakota Heritage Center in March.

Actually, it is going to be a retooled exhibit.

State geologist Ed Murphy said “Dakota” the Hadrosaur has been taken off the floor. It's being cleaned up –and changed.

"The big part of that will be that you can literally pet it," Murphy said. "We did a 3-D scan of the skin, and we'll be putting that out in some kind of soft material. And you can run your hands over that."

Murphy said it will be very much like petting a dinosaur, had you been around millions of years ago.

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.

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