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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WILLISTON -- Moving to North Dakota was the best thing that ever happened to Robert Peeler. After losing his job and facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, the Red Bluff, Calif., man hoped North Dakota was the route to turning his life around. He found a good-paying job his first day in Williston and is now on a path to do just that. "This is the only place where there's really this much opportunity," Peeler said. Stories like Peeler's are common in western North Dakota, where a recent scan of the Walmart parking lot in Williston showed license plates from 25 states. It's diffic
WILLISTON -- Natural gas production in the Williston Basin could more than quadruple current levels, pushing North Dakota into a more leading role in supplying the U.S. natural gas market, according to a study released Wednesday. The report also projects that oil production in the Williston Basin could grow to 1.8 million barrels per day by 2017 and more than 2 million barrels per day by 2025.
RAY -- The oil industry threw a thank you party Tuesday for communities in the heart of oil development. Thirteen teams with the Bakken Rocks Cookfest event prepared everything from ribs to jambalaya to banana pudding for residents from Ray and the surrounding communities. Organizers estimated that more than 1,200 people attended the free event. The event is part of the North Dakota Petroleum Council's Oil Can!
WILLISTON -- Mary Catherine Moore came to Williston in June hoping to spend a year working a high-paying job. Last week, the 50-year-old gave away her camper, got a $40 gas voucher from the Salvation Army and headed back to Texas. "I tried it," Moore said. "It's not for me." Moore had been unemployed in Houston after her jobs working in computer support were outsourced overseas.
WILLISTON -- A boost in the workforce helped Williams County add 66 producing oil wells in May, increasing daily production by more than 21,000 barrels that month, the latest figures show. The significant jump -- a 23 percent increase in oil production over April -- was due to additional crews that do hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, said Lynn Helms, director of Mineral Resources. Hydraulic fracturing is a process in which water, chemicals and sand are injected under high pressure to form tiny fractures in the rock to extract the oil. With the additional crews working in Williams County,
Environmental violations at a fracking waste water disposal well near Dickinson that threatened drinking water in Stark County have prompted North Dakota's largest civil case and the first ever criminal case against an oil and gas operator. The company, Halek Operating ND LLC, faces up to $1.5 million in fines for injecting salt water used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, into the disposal site after having been told to stop because the site was not up to state standards.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission is pursuing its largest civil case and its first ever criminal case against an oil and gas operator accused of breaking environmental protection rules. A civil complaint alleges that Halek Operating ND LLC operated a salt water disposal well near Dickinson, in violation of its permit. The complaint also alleges that Halek used the disposal well after being notified of a violation. The complaint seeks more than $1.5 million in fines. A criminal complaint charges Nathan Garber of Executive Drilling LLC with a Class C felony.
WATFORD CITY -- The post office here closes for an hour each day, but you won't find Postmaster Jason Hirst taking a leisurely lunch. After two longtime employees left, Hirst was forced to close the window from 12:30 to 1:30 each day just so he can get some work done. Hirst, who has been Watford City's postmaster for about a year, said he was not prepared for how fast he has to work all day long to keep up with the booming city. "It never seems to slow down. When you're not working the window, you're helping sort mail.
WILLISTON -- Residents of one of Williston's newest neighborhoods now have an up-close view of a drilling rig. Statoil is drilling four wells in northwest Williston, adjacent to many homes and a developing residential area. For Fargo man Chuck Horejsi, who is renting a room in a house near the rig this summer, seeing the derrick from his bedroom window is unusual. "Only in Williston," Horejsi said, laughing.