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CULBERTSON, Mont. – An oil train derailed in northeastern Montana on Thursday and struck a powerline pole as it derailed but has not caused any fires or injuries, officials said Friday. “We’re real lucky it didn’t go bang,” said Chief Deputy Corey Reum with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. The westbound train hit a powerline pole adjacent to the railroad track as it derailed about 6:05 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, Reum said.
BISMARCK – More than 100 investors from around the world have joined a class action lawsuit alleging that a Bismarck law firm played a role in a Ponzi scheme that bilked people out of $62 million. A complaint filed in U.S. District Court alleges that the Pearce & Durick law firm, which was the escrow agent for North Dakota Developments LLC, committed legal malpractice by failing to advise investors they were investing in unlawful securities.
ALEXANDER — An oilfield housing camp developed by two men accused of defrauding investors in a $62 million Ponzi scheme will likely remain closed. The Great American Lodge near Alexander, which is owned by North Dakota Developments LLC, closed abruptly in May after the utility company cut power to the facility because of unpaid bills. The closure occurred days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against North Dakota Developments and its owners, Robert L. Gavin and Daniel J.
BLAIR, Mont. – Tracks are estimated to reopen today as crews work to clean up after a BNSF Railway train derailment Tuesday afternoon. Nine rail cars derailed about 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time near Blair, about 50 miles west of Williston, N.D., and 40 miles east of Wolf Point, Mont., said BNSF spokesman Matt Jones. The train was not carrying any hazardous materials, but had some empty tank cars with residue of ethyl alcohol and liquefied petroleum gas, Jones said.
WILLISTON — A new $7.5 million workforce training facility in Williston is complete, filling a demand for oil industry training that remains strong despite a slowdown in drilling. The new building for TrainND’s Northwest Center at Williston State College brings the classroom training together with its petroleum simulators and field program, which features a workover rig and other oilfield equipment. “We don’t want our instruction to just be classroom stuff,” said CEO Deanette Piesek.
WATFORD CITY — As more and more pipelines criss-cross western North Dakota, flags that mark the underground utilities are becoming more than a nuisance for landowners. Metal pin flags used to mark the pipelines so excavators can safely work in the area are often left behind, creating hazards for cattle when the metal winds up in hay bales. “They are everywhere out here,” said McKenzie County rancher Vawnita Best.
WILLISTON – Oil companies are drilling faster and focusing on core areas of the Bakken, leading to a surprise increase in North Dakota oil production in May, the state’s top regulator said Friday. The state produced 1.2 million barrels of oil per day in May, a 2.7 percent increase despite a continued slowdown in oil activity, preliminary figures show.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota Industrial Commission case against Black Hills Trucking seeking fines for illegal dumping allegations is heading to an administrative law judge. The Industrial Commission filed a complaint last year against Black Hills Trucking, part of True Companies of Wyoming, for charges that the company improperly disposed of produced water, a byproduct of oil production. Surveillance equipment recorded the company’s trucks dumping produced water on a Williams County gravel road in February and March of 2014, according to the complaint.
BELFIELD — A company proposing a new crude oil pipeline in southwest North Dakota has a poor track record of spills and can’t be trusted to build and operate the project safely, a coalition of labor unions says. The Laborers International Union of North America plans to urge North Dakota regulators to reject a pipeline from Bridger Pipeline LLC, the same company responsible for an oil spill in the Yellowstone River this year. “We support pipelines because they’re the safest, most efficient way to move oil, but only if they’re built, maintained and operated right,” said Evan Whiteford, a care
WILLISTON — Investigations into workplace injuries and deaths in North Dakota will now include a look at whether the employer had an incentive program that compromised safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to compile information about an employer’s safety incentive and whether it factored into an incident, said Eric Brooks, director of the Bismarck OSHA office. Programs that give workers a bonus for working a certain length of time without a safety incident may actually compromise safety, Brooks said. “It puts a lot of pressure on that employee that did suffer an i