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BISMARCK – House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Friday the $1.1 billion “surge” funding bill that aims to address critical needs in the Oil Patch. The House voted 90 to 2 to approve amended Senate Bill 2103, which includes the full $450 million requested by the Department of Transportation but cuts the amount of money for cities, counties and townships included in the Senate version.
WILLISTON — A proposed pipeline from the same company behind the Keystone XL would connect Bakken crude with markets now reached only by rail. TransCanada Corp. plans to seek approval for the $600 million Upland Pipeline that would carry oil from south of Williston and head north to connect with other pipelines that reach markets in eastern Canada and the eastern United States. The company said in a statement it has significant interest from shippers in the Williston Basin — in both the U.S. and Canada — for the project.
BISMARCK – State senators rejected a bill Thursday that would have added restrictions to further reduce natural gas flaring. Senate Bill 2287, which failed in an 11-35 vote, would have reduced the length of time a well can flare from one year to 90 days. It also would have limited the volume of natural gas that could be flared each day and removed some exemptions from the current flaring policy.
TIOGA — “Suspicious activity” may be to blame for two oil-related spills reported in Williams County over the weekend that released produced water and affected at least one nearby wetland. The incidents were two of five significant spills reported Tuesday by state officials. Hess Corp.
WILLISTON — A California man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of manslaughter stemming from an altercation outside a Williston strip club that caused a man’s death. Kyle Siler admitted in Williams County District Court that he struck 25-year-old Dean Niederklopfer in the face last August in downtown Williston. The assault caused Niederklopfer to suffer a fatal blow to the head as he fell and struck his head on a metal slab on the ground, defense attorney Ryan Sandberg said. “The second blow actually caused his death, not the strike,” said Williams County State’s Attorney Marlyce Wilder.
BISMARCK – Senators voted 32-15 Friday against a bill that would have separated the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s duties to promote and regulate oil development. The vote fell along party lines, with Republicans voting to reject the bill that would have shifted some duties of the Industrial Commission to the Department of Commerce.
BISMARCK — One of the 17 men arrested in the state’s capital in a recent prostitution sting was out on bond for allegedly seeking to buy sex with minors in another sting last fall. Steven Cory Unger, 26, is charged in Montana’s Dawson County with felony sexual abuse of children.
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production was a “tug of war” in December as production hit a record 1.2 million barrels a day but drilling began to decline, the state’s top oil regulator said Friday. Oil production increased 3.3 percent in December, according to preliminary numbers, even as declining oil prices prompted the number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota to drop. December saw a surge in well completions as operators had end-of-year budgets to spend and 2014 production targets to hit, Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, said in his monthly update. Hel
BISMARCK — House lawmakers rejected a bill Wednesday that would have required a performance audit of state agencies that regulate oil and gas development, but a legislative committee will consider requesting those audits. The House voted 67-22 against House Bill 1259 that proposed audits within the next two years for the Oil and Gas Division of the Department of Mineral Resources as well as the North Dakota Department of Health’s enforcement of oilfield waste rules. House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, the lead sponsor of the bill, said concerns from landowners and news stories f
WILLISTON – Cleanup crews have removed nearly 6 million gallons of water from the site of a pipeline rupture north of here, but a large amount of that water is believed to be snowmelt and freshwater from Blacktail Creek. Meadowlark Midstream, a subsidiary of Summit Midstream, continues to clean up after a pipeline rupture discovered Jan. 6 caused nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater to release near Blacktail Creek, which flows into the Little Muddy River and eventually the Missouri River.