Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — A company that operates oil pipelines in North Dakota is promoting an alternative method to cleaning up spills: introducing bugs to contaminated soil. Targa Resources has a pilot project in McKenzie County that is using bioremediation, also known as landfarming, to remove spilled oil and allow the soil to be reused. "When you spill hydrocarbon, there are naturally occurring microbes − bugs − that immediately start to eat it," said David McQuade, senior environmental director for Targa. "I'm adding a bunch more bugs that want to eat it at a faster rate."
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production dropped nearly 2 percent in June as producers scaled back activity, primarily to keep natural gas flaring from exceeding state limits, the state's top oil regulator said Thursday, Aug. 16. The state produced an average of nearly 1.23 million barrels of oil per day, a drop of more than 20,000 barrels per day from the May record of nearly 1.25 million barrels. "Industry's tapping the brakes a little bit," said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota legislator is proposing to change how wind energy tax revenue is distributed, sending a portion of the money to state coffers rather than directing it all to local counties. Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, presented his idea Tuesday, Aug. 14, to the Legislature's interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee. Brandenburg, a strong advocate for wind energy, said his goal is to address criticism that the wind industry doesn't contribute to the state budget the same way that coal and oil do.
MEDORA, N.D. — Morgan Rebenitsch is getting full use of her theater degree this summer working in North Dakota's tourist destination. The recent college graduate from Mandan is managing the Old Town Hall Theater in downtown Medora, coordinating as many as four shows a day. At night, Rebenitsch also is involved with the Medora Musical, working backstage as a technician and playing the popular character Sheriff Bear. "I love it. I really do," Rebenitsch said. "It's a really great learning environment here."
MEDORA, N.D. — Some call it a working vacation. Some just call it fun. About 650 people are volunteering at Medora this summer, ushering at the musical, staffing the mini golf course and getting tables ready for pitchfork fondue. "We don't want to get paid. We're just having fun," said Jeannie Sovak, a volunteer from Minot, N.D. The volunteers, mostly retirees, spend a little over a week in Medora working at 16 venues.
BISMARCK — Meridian Energy CEO William Prentice says the company no longer plans to build the Davis Refinery in stages, instead constructing the project in a single phase to refine 49,500 barrels of oil per day. Prentice made the statement in an affidavit filed Wednesday, Aug. 8, with the North Dakota Public Service Commission along with a motion that seeks to dismiss a complaint against the company.
BISMARCK—Energy Transfer Partners filed an amended complaint Monday, Aug. 6, in its lawsuit seeking as much as $1 billion in damages from Greenpeace and other organizations that opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline developer alleges Greenpeace and others led a misinformation campaign intended to incite violence, property destruction and criminal sabotage designed to stop the construction of Dakota Access.
DICKINSON, N.D. -- The owner of a small crude oil refinery in western North Dakota is proposing to convert the facility to process vegetable oil instead of petroleum to produce renewable diesel. Andeavor, formerly known as Tesoro, plans to export the renewable diesel to California, where the product is in high demand.
EPPING, N.D.—Cleanup is underway after 345 barrels, or 14,490 gallons, of oil spilled Monday at an oilfield site in Williams County, according to a news release Tuesday from the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division. Whiting Oil and Gas Corp. reported that the spill at a central tank battery site about 13 miles south of Epping was caused by a leak in a valve or piping connection. The oil was contained within the diking of the facility, the Oil and Gas Division said. A state inspector has been to the site and will monitor cleanup.
BISMARCK—Members of an environmental group challenging the Davis Refinery argue the developer's plans have changed significantly since Billings County approved the project, resulting in an increase in truck traffic they fear will make the area unsafe. In a recent court filing, the Dakota Resource Council argues Meridian Energy should not begin construction until the Billings County Commission issues a conditional use permit based on the company's latest plans.