Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production increased 7 percent in October to an average of nearly 1.2 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday, Dec. 15. The increase of more than 78,000 barrels a day is the largest month-over-month oil production increase the state has ever recorded, said Director Lynn Helms. "It's an indicator of the strength behind the industry," he said. Natural gas production increased 6 percent and surpassed 2 billion cubic feet per day for the first time ever, according to preliminary figures.
BISMARCK — The Board of University and School Lands welcomed a new land commissioner Wednesday, Dec. 6, while recognizing outgoing commissioner Lance Gaebe for his service. Jodi Smith attended her first board meeting as commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands while Gaebe attended his last meeting after spending about a week helping with the transition. "He's been wonderful to work with, and I commend him as a leader," said Smith, in her eighth day in the position.
BISMARCK—A public comment period for a refinery proposed near Theodore Roosevelt National Park begins on Friday with a public hearing set for January, the North Dakota Department of Health said Tuesday. Health regulators are inviting comments on a draft air pollution control permit required for the construction of the Davis Refinery, proposed by Meridian Energy Group about two miles west of Belfield. A review by the Division of Air Quality found the refinery is expected to comply with federal and state air pollution rules and regulations.
BISMARCK—North Dakota oil operators will be required to provide more details to mineral owners about deductions taken from their royalty checks under new rules approved unanimously Monday by the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The administrative rule changes aim to address a growing frustration among royalty owners about deductions taken from their payments.
DICKINSON, N.D. — Five years after regulators shut down an oilfield waste disposal well due to environmental violations, the landowners are still looking at the abandoned equipment from their dining room window. "We're sick of the mess," said Laura Griffin, who lives southwest of Dickinson. Well operators Jason Halek and Nathan Garber were sentenced last week in federal court for violating environmental laws while operating a saltwater disposal well in late 2011 and early 2012.
GOLDEN VALLEY, N.D. — A rare drilling rig is at work in central North Dakota this week, but crews aren't looking for oil. They're drilling two exploratory wells in the middle of coal country to help researchers determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide deep underground rather than emitting it into the atmosphere. It's part of a study nicknamed Project CarbonSAFE, led by the University of North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center and funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy.
BISMARCK — Federal prosecutors are seeking prison time for a man they say endangered drinking water sources by illegally operating an oilfield saltwater disposal well near Dickinson, N.D., and then attempting to cover up his environmental crimes. But a defense attorney for Jason Halek argues in court records that probation and home confinement is the right punishment, referring to the situation as a permit violation.
BISMARCK — Officials in McKenzie County say they want to better understand the risks of a proposed oilfield waste facility that would involve injecting a mixture of solid and liquid waste underground. The North Dakota Department of Health has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Watford City Civic Center for a radioactive materials handling license sought by Waste Management of North Dakota.
BISMARCK -- Bismarck’s efforts to house the homeless got a $10,000 boost this week after Sen. Heidi Heitkamp donated campaign contributions she received from Minnesota Sen. Al Franken. Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced she would donate the campaign contributions after a woman said Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her during a 2006 USO tour. Heitkamp said on social media Franken’s conduct was “inappropriate and unacceptable” and she planned to donate his contributions to the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.
NEW TOWN, N.D.—The investigation into the disappearance of Olivia Lone Bear got off to a "very slow start," the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation said Thursday, adding that protocols for responding to missing person cases should be improved. Chairman Mark Fox said while search efforts have become stronger in recent days, he is talking to federal, state and tribal leaders about getting more support to find the missing 32-year-old New Town woman.