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Watford City's first oil and gas expo nearly sold out

WATFORD CITY, N.D.—There's not just one potential game-changing strategy in the Bakken, there are several, and they will be talked about in depth at Watford City's first oil and gas show in its new Rough Rider Center, which is nearly sold-out, according to event organizers.

The Bakken Conference & Expo starts July 16 and continues through July 18.

Registration for the event is free for operating producers, active drilling companies and completion companies.

Rates for others are listed in full online at In general, they are $645, though there are discounts for students and government employees, and one-day registrations are also available. Registration for the pre-conference, Bakken in the Global Gas Marketplace, is $95.

Each day of the event is packed with information about the Bakken, with Watford City right in the heart of the Bakken itself, with the operators who are making the Bakken what it is today.

The panel on game-changing strategies features Jeff Voorhis, principal engineer for Hy-Bon Engineering, talking about revenue sharing plans for flared gas; Mark Van Domelen, vice president of technology for Downhole Chemical Solutions, talking about the next stage of friction reducers for fracturing fluids, and Rob Rebel, senior engineer for LT Environmental Inc., talking about the remediation of crude releases via dual-phase extractions.

It's just one of the many panels that will be part of the Expo's three-day agenda, which features more than 40 speakers, as well as nearly sold out Expo Space.

It starts at 1 p.m. Monday, July 16, with the pre-conference seminar looking at the Bakken in the Global Marketplace. That is followed by a free barbecue meet and greet at 5 p.m., open to the public, which will offer complimentary food and drinks, as well as the opportunity to meet the movers and shakers with feet on the ground in the Bakken. The expo hall will be open for guests until 6:30 p.m.

The Bakken Conference & Expo itself begins Monday with welcome by Luke Geiver, editor of North American Shale magazine, followed by keynote speaker Jason Swaren, who is vice president of operations for Oasis Petroleum. He is going to talk about the company's current and future intentions. Oasis started out as a pure Bakken player, but has recently gone public, and has also secured a position in the Permian oilfields in western Texas..

Swaren's presentation will be followed by a variety of panels ranging from leak detection and the impact of technology and policy on production efficiency in the Bakken to optimization of well performance, drilling through the downturn, and why the Bakken is just as good if not better than the Permian.

Challenges that the communities in the Bakken play face, such as securing adequate workforce, will be given an in-depth discussion with panelists Dale Patten, president of the McKenzie County Job Development Authority; Darius Frick, Western Williston Basin district superintendent for Whiting; Linda Pitman, Williston Basin regional manager for Equinor (formerly Statoil); Pat Bertagnolli, human resources director of the Rocky Mountain Division for Nuverra; and Steve Holen, superintendent of McKenzie County Public School district.

The conference will also delve into community topics of interest, such as a Bakken 2.0 panel, exploring new realities for real estate, roads and community enhancement. The four-person panel features Williston economic development director Shawn Wenko, Renaissance on Main building manager Muriel Lippert, Mike Elliot, founder and managing principal of Energy Real Estate Solutions, and Daniel Stenberg, executive director of Watford City Economic Development.l.

The Expo will feature a couple presentations from elected officials, including state lawmaker Kelly Armstrong, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, on maintaining the momentum in the Bakken, as well as remarks from Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, formerly mayor of Watford City.

The second day will feature more panelists, including a look ahead into the future of the Bakken as far as technologies, strategies and research.