Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
MANDAREE, N.D.—The Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights has joined other environmental groups in challenging the Trump administration's decision to roll back an Obama-era rule to capture methane. The groups filed a lawsuit over the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Bureau of Land Management's Waste Prevention Rule, arguing that the action violates federal policies.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved a drilling unit near Lake Sakakawea, but made some changes that regulators said would protect royalty owners. XTO Energy proposed to develop 26,000 acres in Williams and McKenzie counties as one large unit, a plan the company said would allow oil wells to be farther away from Lake Sakakawea. The company said during a hearing in April that the proposal, known as the Hofflund-Bakken Unit, would allow more oil to be recovered but minimize the impact to sensitive terrain.
BISMARCK — A company that's constructing a new natural gas processing plant in the core of the Bakken announced plans this week for a second plant, doubling the size of the project. Oneok plans to construct Demicks Lake II in McKenzie County, adding 200 million cubic feet per day of processing capacity. Demicks Lake I, which also will have a capacity of 200 million cubic feet per day, is under construction but expected to reach capacity soon after it's complete, Terry Spencer, Oneok president and CEO, said in a news release.
BISMARCK—The oil company that has faced opposition for drilling next to Lake Sakakawea on the Fort Berthold Reservation now proposes to drill 23 new wells near the lake. Slawson Exploration has drilling permit applications under review by the Bureau of Land Management for wells in five locations on the reservation, some less than 1,000 feet from the lake.
BISMARCK — Final recommendations related to a study of the ordinary high water mark of the Missouri River will be presented to the North Dakota Industrial Commission next week. The study by consultant Wenck Associates prompted objections from mineral owners and about 1,500 pages of public comment after it was made public last spring. One attorney warned the study would lead to more lawsuits unless it was modified, and professional land surveyors raised concerns about the review's methodology.
MANDAN, N.D.—A 50-year-old Mandan man is charged with arson, reckless endangerment and other crimes after police say he allegedly started a fire in a Mandan mobile home and threw sharp objects at police and firefighters who responded. A court affidavit filed Thursday against Ricky Allen Kinsella says the Mandan Fire Department had to approach the residence under cover of ballistic shields to extinguish the fire, which prompted the evacuation of nearby homes.
MANNING, N.D. -- A Montana woman whose remains were found on Labor Day in the Badlands of western North Dakota has been identified. The identity of Darlene Billie, a 55-year-old member of the Choctaw Tribe who lived on the Flathead Indian Reservation, was released by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Sept. 19, as the woman discovered on Sept. 3. She had been reported missing in neighboring McKenzie County in November of 2017.
BISMARCK—North Dakota oil and gas regulators are considering changes to the state's oil conditioning order that requires companies to remove the most volatile gases. The rules that took effect in April 2015 aimed to make Bakken crude oil safer for transportation following explosive train derailments. The regulations require companies to test the vapor pressure of crude oil to ensure that it doesn't exceed 13.7 pounds per square inch.
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.