Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK — The likelihood of spring flooding in the area of the Dakota Access resistance camps is creating a new urgency to get pipeline protesters to go home. State officials would like protesters to leave the camps by the end of January so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can assess damage and perform cleanup ahead of potential flooding of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann of the North Dakota National Guard, said Thursday, Jan. 5.
BISMARCK — Continental Resources has agreed to pay a $7,500 fine to settle a complaint that the oil company couldn't locate underground pipelines in southwest North Dakota, one of three fines issued Wednesday, Jan. 4, by the Public Service Commission. Commissioner Brian Kalk said the fine should serve as a signal to the industry that operators need to be able to locate underground facilities or face violations of the North Dakota One-Call law.
BELCOURT, N.D. — At St. Ann's Catholic School on the Turtle Mountain Reservation, volunteer principal Allen Mehrer also serves as music teacher, evening bus driver, maintenance worker and occasional custodian. The school relies on volunteers and a handful of paid teachers who give new meaning to the word multi-tasking in order to provide a free Catholic education to elementary students on the reservation. "Because of the economics here at Turtle Mountain, we don't want to close the door to any child," Mehrer said. "And we would be by charging people."
BELFIELD, N.D. — A federal agency has ordered Belle Fourche Pipeline to improve leak detection, remediate any pipeline in unstable land areas and take other steps to protect the environment following an oil spill in a Little Missouri River tributary. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order to Belle Fourche, part of True Companies of Wyoming, stemming from its investigation into the spill discovered Dec. 5 by a landowner northwest of Belfield.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued serious safety violations to three companies after an investigation into a flash fire at a North Dakota oil well site last June that killed one worker and severely burned three others near Watford City. OSHA issued citations to the well's operator, XTO Energy, and the two servicing companies, Most Wanted Well Service and Sherwood Enterprises, following the investigation of the June 18 incident.
BELFIELD, N.D. — New North Dakota pipeline rules will give state regulators greater oversight of repairs to the Belle Fourche Pipeline that spilled more than 176,000 gallons of oil this month. Regulations that take effect Jan. 1 require companies to notify the state Oil and Gas Division if they plan to repair or replace crude oil gathering pipelines, allowing state inspectors to observe the construction process. The rules also enable state inspectors to witness tests performed on the pipeline to check the integrity of the line before it's returned to service.
WASHINGTON — A Standing Rock Sioux Tribe representative said the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy served as a springboard for discussion this week during a listening session with the Donald Trump's transition team and tribal leaders. Chad Harrison, member of the Standing Rock Tribal Council, was among tribal leaders from around the country who participated in a listening session Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Washington.
BELFIELD, N.D. — Crews at the Belle Fourche Pipeline spill near Belfield are doing tests to see if burning the spilled oil will be a viable cleanup option. Contractors were working in coordination with the North Dakota Department of Health to isolate an area and attempt to burn some of the oil that has contaminated Ash Coulee Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager.
WILLISTON, N.D. — North Dakota oil production increased 7.4 percent in October, bringing daily production back above 1 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Tuesday, Dec. 13. The state produced an average of 1,043,207 barrels per day in October, preliminary numbers show. The large increase followed two months of production declines that brought North Dakota oil production below 1 million barrels per day. North Dakota now has 13,457 producing oil and gas wells, a new all-time high based on the preliminary figures.
BELFIELD, N.D. — Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. estimates that 130,200 gallons of oil spilled into a tributary of the Little Missouri River last week and another 46,200 gallons leaked into a hillside, the North Dakota Department of Health said Monday, Dec. 12 The spill discovered by a landowner on Dec. 5 has contaminated 5.4 miles of Ash Coulee Creek, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager. The total spill estimate of 4,200 barrels, or 176,400 gallons, is a "rough estimate" provided by the company, Suess said.