Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum issued a challenge Tuesday, July 18, to the North Dakota oil industry: Eliminate spills while doubling production to 2 million barrels a day. Burgum, who spoke to an oil industry conference in Bismarck, advocated for more use of technology to prevent and detect spills, mentioning major North Dakota oil spills that were first detected by farmers and ranchers.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK, N.D. -- Firefighters are responding to two fires in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Jones Creek Fire near the north boundary of the South Unit was estimated late Monday to be about six to eight acres, said Eileen Andes, chief of interpretation and public affairs for the park.
BISMARCK — Crews have the wildfire in the Little Missouri National Grassland 95 percent contained and are beginning cleanup efforts, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said Monday. About 45 people remain on scene of the Magpie fire in western North Dakota with the focus shifting to restoration of the land.
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production decreased 1 percent in May but remained slightly above 1 million barrels per day, according to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. Oil producers are drilling Bakken wells faster than they can bring them online due to a shortage of experienced workers, Director Lynn Helms said Friday, July 14. "There's a great amount of frustration about not being able to get the trained personnel to be able to hydraulically fracture wells as fast as they can drill them," Helms said.
GRASSY BUTTE, N.D. — Volunteers are the main line of defense in North Dakota's Badlands as a wildfire raged into its third day Monday, July 10. Rugged terrain and hot, windy conditions are keeping local volunteer firefighters on scene for up to 30 hours at a time as they work to prevent the fire from doing even more damage. "You sleep when you can and, if not, you've just got to suck it up and keep going," said Grassy Butte volunteer firefighter Darren Chernenko. "When these get out of hand like this, it can turn really bad fast. You have to do everything possible."
BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum is accepting applications to the State Water Commission after asking all seven members to reapply for their jobs. Burgum accepted resignations from the members, who combined have more than 100 years of service, and opened up applications that are due July 21. Burgum, who became chairman of the nine-member State Water Commission after taking office as governor last December, also required members of his Cabinet to reapply for their jobs.
BISMARCK—President Donald Trump says he wants to save coal, but his budget proposal includes steep cuts for research that could advance the industry. North Dakota's Congressional delegation is pushing for funding to research clean coal technology. "We cannot leave coal behind as a resource for generation of electricity, but we've got to do it in a way that guarantees its future," said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota agency is attempting to collect millions in oil and gas royalty payments it says are owed to the state. But the exact amounts owed to the Department of Trust Lands is unknown as companies have resisted providing information to the state, the state Land Commissioner said Thursday.
BISMARCK — A trucking company that illegally dumped oilfield waste on a northwest North Dakota road in 2014 continues to contest a $950,000 state fine, taking its case to the state Supreme Court on Thursday, June 22. Black Hills Trucking does not dispute that one of its truck drivers intentionally released produced water, a waste byproduct of oil production, onto a Williams County gravel road, said attorney John Morrison.
BISMARCK — Paleontologists who recently found a tooth from a Tyrannosaurus rex south of Bismarck say the public might have similar luck in upcoming fossil digs. The North Dakota Geological Survey is hosting four events this summer, inviting the public to help uncover bones from dinosaurs, prehistoric sea monsters and other creatures that once inhabited the state. "The story of prehistoric life in North Dakota is a fascinating thing," said John Hoganson, the former state paleontologist. "It goes back millions of years."