Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
WASHBURN, N.D. − When Detective Justin Krohmer received a photo of a vehicle linked to the Mandan homicide investigation, the white pickup in the picture was a familiar one. “I’ve seen the vehicle around town probably 800 times,” said Krohmer, who works for the McLean County Sheriff’s Office.
BISMARCK — Legislators in Washington state are considering new regulations to reduce the volatility of Bakken crude oil shipped by rail. But North Dakota’s top oil regulator says the proposal is not backed by science and he’s requested state dollars to sue the state of Washington if the legislation advances. The Washington Senate voted last month to require a lower vapor pressure limit for Bakken crude shipped through the state by rail, a measure aimed at protecting communities from fiery derailments.
BISMARCK — A controversial energy bill passed the North Dakota House Thursday, March 28, but a landowner group plans to continue raising concerns as the legislation moves to a conference committee. Senate Bill 2344 aims to clear up issues involving pore space, or the cavity or void in underground rock formations. The bill has impacts for saltwater disposal wells, enhanced oil recovery and temporary storage of natural gas to reduce flaring.
BISMARCK - A bill approved Monday, March 25, in the North Dakota House aims to prevent people from tampering with pipelines and other energy infrastructure, but opponents argue it will stifle free speech. House members voted 76-14 in favor of Senate Bill 2044, introduced in response to activists who turned an emergency valve of an oil pipeline in northeast North Dakota in 2016. “This is a bill that puts a little more teeth in trying to deter people from tampering with critical infrastructure,” said Rep. Chuck Damschen, R-Hampden.
BISMARCK - A drug trafficking case that began with a routine traffic stop in northwest North Dakota concluded this week as a man affiliated with the Mexican Mafia was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced this week that David Saul Salazar, 49, Packwood, Wash., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland for charges related to trafficking meth and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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.