Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK - Harold Hamm cut down his speech to three words: "Beat Barack Obama." The Continental Resources CEO who led a panel discussion Thursday during the final day of the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference said energy will play a huge role in upcoming elections. Hamm, whose company led the way in using horizontal drilling to tap North Dakota's oil producing potential, is Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney's energy committee chairman.
BISMARCK -- Oil development could push North Dakota's population to 1 million people, the state's director of mineral resources said Wednesday as one of his predictions for the state's future. Lynn Helms laid out three possible scenarios for North Dakota during the second day of the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. If all the possible risk factors go wrong, North Dakota would max out at 650,000 barrels of crude oil production per day and hold at that rate for two to three years before declining.
BISMARCK -- Tuesday was supposed to be a warm-up day for the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. But by late afternoon, the total number of registrations passed 3,861 people and are expected to easily surpass 4,000 today and Thursday. "We've had incredible interest," said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. "People have just been pouring in all day." Participants represent 46 states and seven Canadian provinces.
WILLISTON -- John Zimmerman brings his Wall Street expertise to North Dakota oil fields. He also used his North Dakota expertise to attract oil investors. The Minot native spent six years working for Goldman Sachs before deciding to return to his home state in 2005. Zimmerman, who holds a master's degree in business administration from Dartmouth, saw the potential in the Bakken and formed Intervention Energy in 2007 with a group of former colleagues, basing operations in Minot. At the end of 2011, the company had investments in 120 producing wells with another 115 in the pipeline.
WILLISTON -- During the Bakken Housing Summit, Salt Lake City real estate developer Michael Milner sent this text to his colleague: "Think big! Think real! Think fun!" Milner, managing member of American Landmark Group with 40 years of experience in the building industry, said the long-term development opportunities provided by the oil boom in western North Dakota are exciting. "Without federal interference, this will be one of the most significant economic opportunities this country has had in the last 50 to 100 years," Milner said.
WILLISTON -- Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced Wednesday he's directing $3 million from the state's share of a lawsuit settlement to subsidize housing for law enforcement in the Oil Patch. Stenehjem, speaking at the Bakken Housing Conference in Williston, said law enforcement agencies in the oil and gas producing counties are getting qualified applicants, but they can't afford the housing costs in those communities. "Are we having issues with housing? Absolutely," Dickinson Police Department Capt. David Wilkie said. "The entire city is having issues with housing.
WILLISTON -- In the Bakken, the latest slogan is, "Build, baby, build." A Bakken Housing Summit hosted in Williston this week calls for 5,000 new homes to be built in 24 months. Organizer Jeff Zarling said that 5,000 may not be the magic number, but the theme was designed to convey the magnitude of the oil boom on western North Dakota's housing needs to stakeholders around the country. It worked. More than 350 people from 33 states are attending the sold-out summit, representing developers, builders, investors and others in the construction industry.
CROSBY -- A $110 million pipeline project will bring high-quality drinking water to areas of northwest North Dakota that desperately need it, officials said Tuesday. Some independent water providers say this state-backed project will compete with private sales of water to the oil industry, but supporters of the project say there's enough business to go around. Gov. Jack Dalrymple attended a groundbreaking ceremony near Crosby on Tuesday to celebrate the construction of a Western Area Water Supply Project pipeline between Crosby and Wildrose.
WILLISTON -- Twenty-year-old Justin Day moved to North Dakota with no oil field experience. A month later, Day has a job that could pay him six figures this year. But getting that job took research.
LEWIS AND CLARK STATE PARK -- Sit down for a picnic at Lewis and Clark State Park, and you almost forget about the Bakken. Views of Lake Sakakawea and the rugged buttes of the North Dakota Badlands offer an oasis from the flurry of oil activity just a few miles away. But some fear the oil boom is getting too close to some of western North Dakota's parks. Outside the boundaries of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, oil wells, gas flares, traffic and dust are visible to park-goers, said Eileen Andes, chief of interpretation and public affairs. Noise from oil industry equipment can be heard in