Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK - North Dakota House members put their stamp of approval on a new tribal oil tax agreement, the final hurdle for resolving a dispute with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation over how oil revenue is shared. The House voted 84-8 on Wednesday, March 20, in support of a bill that is estimated to send an additional $33.6 million in oil tax revenue to the tribe in the next two-year budget cycle.
BISMARCK — Sen. John Hoeven will lead a field hearing in Bismarck on Wednesday, March 20, featuring tribal, state and federal leaders to discuss law enforcement issues in Indian Country. Hoeven, R-N.D., chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, will gather testimony the committee will use to advance legislation. The hearing is titled “To Protect and Serve: Joint Law Enforcement Efforts in Building Safe Tribal Communities and Stopping Dangerous Drugs from Entering Indian Country.”
FORTUNA, N.D. -- A tank leak caused a brine and oil spill at a well in Divide County earlier this month, but it wasn’t reported until several days later, according to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division. Future Acquisition Co. reported that 300 barrels, or 12,600 gallons, of brine and 10 barrels, or 420 gallons, of oil spilled on March 6 at a well about 4 miles southwest of Fortuna. The spill was verbally reported to a state inspector on March 11, and a spill report was filed on Monday, said Katie Haarsager, spokeswoman for the Oil and Gas Division.
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production held steady in January at 1.4 million barrels per day while natural gas production reached a new high, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday, March 15. The state produced 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in January, an increase of 2.6 percent, according to preliminary figures. Operators focused activity on the core of the Bakken, where wells produce the most gas associated with oil production, said Director Lynn Helms.
BISMARCK - A judge on Thursday, March 7, sentenced a Watford City accountant to 100 hours of community service but no prison time in a fraud case that stemmed from an investigation into an oil boom murder-for-hire plot. Rene L. Johnson was found guilty in November of wire fraud after federal prosecutors alleged she diverted investors’ funds without their knowledge for a high-risk loan.
BISMARCK — A new economic impact study shows North Dakota’s oil industry is maturing, with more long-term jobs to maintain production and fewer temporary workers. The oil industry had a $32.6 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2017, according to the study by North Dakota State University researchers. Dean Bangsund, research scientist with NDSU’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, highlighted some of his most recent findings at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
BISMARCK — Western North Dakota landowners lined up Friday, March 1, to testify against an energy bill they called an “offensive” taking of private property rights, while supporters said there’s a misunderstanding of the bill’s intention. Sponsors of Senate Bill 2344 say it seeks to clarify issues related to pore space, or the cavity or void in a subsurface formation. Watford City attorney and landowner Dennis Johnson brought a sponge to the packed legislative committee hearing to illustrate pore space.
BISMARCK — A new North Dakota law better defining oil and gas ownership under Lake Sakakawea is constitutional but requires the state to refund too much money, a judge ruled Wednesday, Feb. 27. East Central Judicial District Judge John Irby issued a 25-page order in the lawsuit from Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla, former governor candidate Paul Sorum and others that challenged legislation approved by lawmakers in 2017.
BISMARCK - The National Weather Service recommends making adjustments to the Doppler radar near Minot after a deadly Watford City tornado in 2018 raised awareness about gaps in weather radar coverage. The Weather Service recently completed an analysis of the Doppler radar located east of the Minot Air Force Base at Deering. The agency recommends lowering the minimum scan angle of the radar, which would allow storms to be detected at a lower altitude.
BISMARCK -- The Dakota Access Pipeline developer filed a new lawsuit against Greenpeace and other defendants on Thursday, Feb. 21, about a week after a judge dismissed a complaint against the organization in federal court.