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BISMARCK – House lawmakers pushed back Friday against recent actions by the North Dakota Industrial Commission by passing a bill that would require broad orders to be reviewed by legislators. House members voted 61-27 in favor of House Bill 1187 that would void any “rules of general applicability” approved by the Industrial Commission that do not go through a legislative rulemaking process.
WILLISTON, N.D. – A contractor that stockpiled filter socks in McKenzie County last year paid a $16,000 fine, with $87,000 in fines dismissed, and agreed to no longer operate in North Dakota. Continental Resources, the leading Bakken oil producer that hired RP Services, also received a notice of violation from the North Dakota Department of Health, but the department dismissed the violation last month and assessed no fines.
WILLISTON — Ahmed Osman recently worked 16-hour days hauling water and sand used to frack oil and gas wells in western North Dakota. But Osman now sees mostly eight-hour days as companies in the Bakken respond to low oil prices by cutting operations. “It’s very slow,” Osman said. Osman, afraid he may get laid off, was among many workers who stopped by a job fair in Williston last week for a company in a different sector of the oil industry that is hiring. “We are worried about it,” Osman said.
KEENE, N.D. – Two teenagers from Alexander were identified Friday as the victims of a fatal vehicle crash Wednesday night in McKenzie County that involved icy road conditions. The North Dakota Highway Patrol identified Brady Armour, 18, as the driver and Nathan Sims, 16, as the passenger of a Chevrolet Impala involved in the crash two miles north of Keene about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
BISMARCK — A bill seeks to further restrict natural gas flaring in North Dakota, but an industry group leader testified Friday that bold actions such as “quick take” eminent domain may be necessary to eliminate flaring. Landowners promptly denounced the eminent domain idea Friday and said the industry’s poor track record of spills and working with landowners is why many are hesitant to grant pipeline easements. Senate Bill 2287 would reduce the length of time a well can flare from one year to 90 days.
WILLISTON — Temperatures that reached into the 50s Tuesday in the Oil Patch hampered cleanup efforts at the site of a massive pipeline leak, making the contamination spread more quickly into the state’s waterways, officials said. Melting snow and increased flows made it difficult for cleanup crews to collect some of the contamination in Blacktail Creek, said Dave Glatt, chief of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Environmental Health Section. A pipeline leak discovered Jan.
WILLISTON – Hess Corp., one of North Dakota’s largest oil and gas producers, will cut spending and operate fewer rigs in the Bakken this year, but plans to drill almost as many wells as last year. Hess plans to operate an average of 9.5 rigs in North Dakota in 2015 and bring an additional 210 oil and gas wells online, the company announced this week.
WILLISTON — State oversight of more than 20,000 miles of underground pipelines has been “very, very minimal” as it struggles to hire qualified inspectors, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Industrial Commission says. New rules approved by the Industrial Commission that took effect last year govern small gathering pipelines such as the pipeline that spilled nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater near Williston this month, the state’s largest spill on record. Meadowlark Midstream, a subsidiary of Summit Midstream Partners, learned of the rupture of a 4-inch pipeline on Jan.
WILLISTON — Before North Dakota oil worker Dustin Payne died last fall, he sent text messages to his girlfriend about safety conditions at the worksite. “I’m literally going to be welding something that’s full of oil. … Don’t (feel) comfortable welding this at all. Dangerous as (expletive).” Payne, a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran from Alabama, died from injuries he suffered on Oct.
WASHINGTON – As local police chiefs and sheriffs gathered in Minot to discuss increased crime in North Dakota’s Oil Patch, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp interjected when one cited a spike...