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 -- When an oil company wanted to drill for oil near a beloved North Dakota landmark, it brought to light a possible ethical question for Gov. Jack Dalrymple. Dalrymple owns stock in ExxonMobil, the parent company of XTO, which applied for a permit to drill near a ranch once owned by Teddy Roosevelt. As governor, Dalrymple also is chairman of the state's Industrial Commission, which could have made the final ruling on the drilling permit.
BISMARCK - Farmers Myron Hanson and Troy Coons miss the rural North Dakota they used to know. That's why they're volunteering their time at the state Capitol this legislative session to advocate for farmers and ranchers who are being significantly affected by the oil boom. "The impact on a small number of people that are bearing the burden of this is huge," said Hanson, a third-generation farmer who lives near Souris.
BISMARCK -- As soon as Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed three anti-abortion bills Tuesday, the phone started ringing. Lauren Strinden, executive assistant for the governor, said calls from people wanting to express their opinions came flooding in at about the same time she heard he had signed the bills. "I couldn't believe the news would travel that fast," Strinden said.
WILLISTON -- Monte Besler's job can be summed up in his license plate: FRACN8R. The Williston engineer who specializes in hydraulic fracturing once earned that nickname from a co-worker in the oil field. "I had a knack for being able to design good frac jobs," said Besler, 56. The name stuck, and it became Besler's license plate and eventually his business name when he decided to become independent and start FRACN8R Consulting. Besler, whose business card says he's been cracking rock in North Dakota since 1981, is hired by oil companies to optimize the results from hydraulic fracturing, th
WILLISTON -- A group of pastors in Williston, a town that has attracted thousands of new residents looking for work but sometimes finding trouble, say a petition to allow guns in their churches is motivated by mass shootings elsewhere and not North Dakota's oil boom. The petition asking city commissioners to give churches the option of allowing concealed weapons will be submitted at a meeting Tuesday. The Rev.
WILLISTON -- Bond was set at $1 million Tuesday for a man charged in connection with stabbing his roommate to death at an oil field crew camp. Ryan Neil Anderson is charged with murder, a class AA felony, and attempted murder, a class A felony, in Williams County District Court for the death of Christopher King and the attempted stabbing of another man. Anderson, 31, and King, 32, were longtime friends and roommates who moved to North Dakota from Michigan, the Williams County Sheriff's Office has said. Court records state: A witness called authorities at 4:06 a.m.
WILLISTON -- One man was shot in the face outside a strip club. Another was stabbed after drinking with his crew camp roommate. The two Williams County homicides in one weekend highlight the continued stress facing Oil Patch law enforcement agencies as the population swells. Williston Detective Cory Collings said he believes the influx of oil boom workers contributes to an increase in bar fights. "These guys work 12, 14, 16 hours a day. They want to unwind for the night.
WILLISTON -- The oil industry used at least 5.4 billion gallons of water in North Dakota in 2012, a record high and at least a 75 percent increase over 2011, according to preliminary figures from the State Water Commission. About 70 percent of the water was used for hydraulic fracturing, with at least 2 million gallons of water pumped into the ground at each well, said Mike Hove, water resource manager with the State Water Commission. The State Water Commission has permitted a total of 18.9 billion gallons of water for use by the oil industry, and has millions of more gallons that are being
WILLISTON -- Mr. Kab Taxi owner Sheila Taranto apologizes if she's short on the phone with customers. But the calls for rides come in so fast that she has to get the address and get on her way. "This load is the largest I've ever had to handle in my entire life," she said. Taranto, 69, drove taxis in Alaska for 27 years before she moved to Williston last fall to launch a new business.
BISMARCK -- A winter storm and subzero temperatures contributed to a 4.2 percent drop in North Dakota's oil production in January, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday. The state produced an average of 738,022 barrels per day in January, according to preliminary figures from the department, down from the record high of 770,111 barrels per day produced in December. "That is a very significant drop in production," said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources. Helms said he anticipates that the state's monthly oil production numbers will continue to go up and dow