County may see 20-100 more wellsWhiting Oil and Gas Corp. expressed its interest in developing nearly 40,000 acres in Stark County at a Stark County Commission meeting in Dickinson Tuesday morning.
Whiting Oil and Gas Corp. expressed its interest in developing nearly 40,000 acres in Stark County at a Stark County Commission meeting in Dickinson Tuesday morning.
Whiting is interested in drilling 20 to 100 oil wells, constructing a natural gas plant and putting in a 40 mile pipeline in Stark County, said Blaine Hoffmann, superintendent of the Northern Rockies region of the company.
“Sounds good to us,” Chairman Duane “Bucky” Wolf said. “We’ve been getting a lot of impact and not much oil.”
However, commissioners want to be sure the Denver based company’s infrastructure is up to their specifications.
Whiting will build most of its own roads and it also plans to maintain them, Hoffmann said.
After the hearing, Tom Henning, Stark County state’s attorney, said it will be up to the county to maintain the roads when Whiting leaves the area.
Whiting has already begun drilling and if its efforts are a success, the company may be in the area for years, Hoffmann said.
“Hopefully we’re going to be here for a while and if things work out, our program could last another six to 10 years,” Hoffmann said.
Whiting is also active in other western counties.
“We’ll be all the way to the Montana line,” Hoffmann said.
The amount of development Whiting does in the area depends on how successful its wells are in the next few months.
“I think throughout the rest of this year, you’ll see some more wells drilled,” Hoffmann said.
Much of the drilling in Stark County will take place around Belfield, he added.
“Wherever our wells are drilled, that’s where our pipelines will go and then we’ll end up hooking into other pipelines,” Hoffmann said. “For right now we would run a gas line and as our infrastructure comes about, we will run oil lines also.”
If Whiting constructs a gas plant it would go up near Belfield as well, though a location has not been finalized.
“We usually start out with a plan to build small that we can grow with,” Hoffmann said. “Right now I can’t be anymore specific then that because we’re in the infancy of our program.”
In other matters:
r Commissioners reviewed the county’s preliminary 2011 budget. A public hearing for the budget is scheduled for Oct. 5.
r Commissioners approved a new policy for building subdivision roads.
r Commissioners appointed Kay Haag as interim Stark County auditor, to replace Alice Schulz, who will be retiring. On April 1, commissioners will appoint the new auditor. Haag is vying for the position.