Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — As North Dakota oil operators struggle to meet natural gas flaring targets, a new research project will explore the possibility of temporarily storing gas in underground rock formations. The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved $140,000 on Friday, Sept. 14, to evaluate the potential of injecting produced natural gas underground and retrieving it years later when the state has additional infrastructure.
BISMARCK—As North Dakota oil production returns to record levels, a new analysis shows the state has 20 to 60 more years of drilling activity in its future. The state produced an average of nearly 1.27 million barrels of oil per day in July, a new all-time high, according to preliminary figures released Friday, Sept. 14, by the Department of Mineral Resources. July oil production saw a 3.4 percent increase and exceeded the previous record of 1.25 million barrels per day set in May.
BISMARCK — A natural gas pipeline proposed in northwest North Dakota would cross the Missouri River and the Lake Sakakawea reservoir. Representatives from Kinder Morgan are meeting with local residents this week to get input on the 10-mile pipeline while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reviews a permit application. The project, which would go beneath the Missouri River for about 2.5 miles in Williams and McKenzie counties, aims to capture natural gas that would otherwise be flared due to insufficient pipeline capacity.
BISMARCK — The United States is now the largest global crude oil producer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Wednesday, Sept. 12. Preliminary estimates show that U.S. oil production likely surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, the EIA said. North Dakota, the No. 2 oil-producing state behind Texas, is mentioned by the EIA as one of the states that has seen significant growth. North Dakota produced an average of nearly 1.23 million barrels per day in June, the most recent data available.
BISMARCK — Bismarck political opponents who filed police reports against one another over campaign ads during a hotly contested primary race have reached a compromise and neither will face criminal charges. Burleigh County prosecutors have dismissed a misdemeanor charge of publication of false information in political advertisements against Duane Sand, a Republican who challenged two Republican incumbents for District 47 House.
BISMARCK — Two judges sided with Meridian Energy this week on legal challenges related to the Davis Refinery being built near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. South Central Judicial District Judge Bruce Haskell dismissed a claim Tuesday, Sept. 11, from the Dakota Resource Council, which challenged Meridian Energy's zoning permit from Billings County.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's land commissioner cautioned Thursday, Aug. 30, that the energy and agriculture industries could see significant delays to obtain easements for state-owned lands under a change in administrative process directed by the Legislature. Commissioner Jodi Smith said the state Department of Trust Lands is working on new administrative rules as directed by lawmakers last session, but finding some unintended consequences.
BISMARCK—New figures from the U.S. Department of Energy show North Dakota as a leading state for wind energy development. North Dakota added 249 megawatts of wind capacity in 2017, ranking eighth in the nation, according to the department's 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report released last week. The state had a total of 2,996 megawatts of wind capacity at the end of 2017, the report said, making North Dakota 11th in the country for the total amount of wind capacity installed.
BISMARCK — North Dakota geologists are re-evaluating whether local sources of sand could be used for hydraulic fracturing as oil industry demand increases. Oil companies now use greater volumes of sand for fracking, averaging about 2,500 to 5,000 tons per well, according to the Department of Mineral Resources. Operators are interested in finding a North Dakota source of sand to save on transportation costs rather than importing it by rail, said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
BISMARCK—The National Weather Service is taking steps to improve weather radar coverage for western North Dakota after a deadly tornado in Watford City raised awareness of gaps in coverage. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has committed to studying whether the Minot radar system can be adjusted to improve coverage in western North Dakota, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Thursday.