Oil Boom

House passes new oil tax allocation formula

Feb 26, 2015

The House has passed a change in the oil tax distribution formula.

But it isn’t what Governor Dalrymple proposed.

The current formula on oil tax is – 75 percent goes to the state, 25 percent to local governments. Dalrymple and oil patch Republicans wanted to make that formula 60-40 – 60 percent to local governments, 40 percent to the state. Instead, the House passed what it called the 70-30 plan – 70 percent to the state, 30 percent to local governments.

House Democratic Minority Leader Kenton Onstad (D-Parshall) says he’s reluctantly supporting the proposal.

Todd Melby visits with Phil Hamm about his experience with housing in Williston

A Man and a Marathon Mission

Jun 13, 2014

Caleb Kobalinsky is getting some rest after undertaking an extreme venture to deliver a message of support to those in North Dakota's oil patch. Prairie Public reporter Todd McDonald has details...

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.

Oil Patch Code Blue 4: Juhnke v. Marathon

Sep 12, 2013

We’re airing a series of stories this week about injuries and deaths in North Dakota’s oil patch. Yesterday, we learned how the death of oil worker Dustin Bergsing affected his fiancée, daughter and a close friend.

Today, we explore the legal battle that occurred after Bergsing died. It concerns whether or not Marathon Oil ignored repeated internal warnings about unsafe working conditions at the well site where the young man worked.

Black Gold Boom reporter Todd Melby has the story.

This story was made possible by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Oil Patch Code Blue 3: "A beautiful man"

Sep 11, 2013

During the last couple of days, we’ve been focusing on the rising number of injuries and deaths in North Dakota’s oil patch.

Trauma admissions have doubled or tripled at hospitals in the west. More men are dying on drilling rigs and other oil industry workplaces than ever before.

Today, we examine how these trends are affecting families. Black Gold Boom reporter Todd Melby traveled to Montana to learn more.

Oil Patch Code Blue 2: 'Mad as Hell'

Sep 10, 2013

This week we’re exploring injuries and deaths in North Dakota oil country.

Yesterday, we learned about the struggles of a rural ambulance company and the rising number of trauma admissions at western North Dakota hospitals.

Today, we turns our attention to on-the-job deaths in the state’s booming oil industry. According to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, oil field workers are seven times more likely to suffer a fatal on-the-job injury than the average American worker.

Oil Patch Code Blue 1: There's the Pager

Sep 9, 2013

North Dakota’s non-stop oil boom has made lots of people rich. Some ranchers are millionaires, a few oil bosses are billionaires and lots of working people have more money in their pockets than they used to.

But those riches haven’t come without a cost.

As the boom exploded with drilling rigs, frac crews, and oilfield workers of every kind, the number of on-the-job deaths has jumped to record highs. Traumatic injuries on roads and job sites have also skyrocketed.

Aid to the oil patch

May 3, 2013

Supporters call it “landmark legislation.”

As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, a bill to send more than $1.1 billion dollars to North Dakota's oil patch is on its way to Governor Dalrymple.


Study: ND oil industry strong

Mar 14, 2013

A new economic study shows the oil industry is a growing part of the state’s economy.

"The study reveals about a $30 billion industry in North Dakota," said North Dakota Petroleum Council president Ron Ness. "60,000 direct jobs. $800 million paid to North Dakotans in direct royalties and other payments. And about $2.2 billion to the state government in terms of revenues."

The study was conducted by two NDSU researchers. It shows the industry has grown nearly 600 percent since 2005. The study shows 2011 numbers.