Water Regulators Like $$$ Too!

(Editor’s Note: No matter what state it is in, regulations have not as much to do with health and safety as control and $$$$, as Mr. Blank points out regarding this poor little community.)

Water. Water. Water. Waters is big business in North Dakota. Most folks don’t know this but many oil wells produce as much or more water as they do oil and so that has created a huge business for trucking companies. With the increased demand for frac water, a flurry of suppliers – many of them farmers – have cropped up as willing suppliers. So you can hardly blame the volunteer firefighters in the little town of Lignite near the borer when the decided to sell water to oilfield haulers.

Hess Corp. Installs GTUIT Units to Reduce Flaring

In an effort to reduce flaring, Hess Corporation has installed over 15 mobile field natural gas stripping units provided by GTUIT of Billings and has set up a test site in Mountrail County for gas-fired generators.
It is part of an aggressive effort by the company working to tie in wells near Keene in McKenzie County as well as Williams and Mountrail counties to meet state imposed gas capture goals.

Innovation & New Technology Accelerates ND Oil Production

(Editor’s note: Once again the Bakken demonstrates that unfettered markets and human innovation will always overcome – no matter the problem or the product.)
North Dakota oil producers are getting more out of the ground because of accelerated new fracing techniques in core areas in McKenzie County. As a result—despite 100 fewer rigs drilling in the state—production has jumped 32,000 barrels in one month to over 1.2 million BOPD in May.

Energy Boom Saves Consumers $$

The shale energy boom has saved Americans about $90 billion according to a report by Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School. By using the high-tech combination of big data analytics, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing, the energy industry has boosted domestic oil and natural gas production in an abundance that has lowered energy costs, saving each American about $780 dollars.

Herberger's Expands and Relocates at Rimrock Mall

Herberger’s, located in Rimrock Mall in Billings, is expanding and relocating to a 60,000-square foot space in the center’s south wing. As part of the Herberger’s expansion, Claire’s and Foot Locker are moving to newly remodeled locations within the center. Claire’s new store opened in the mall’s north wing on May 22. Foot Locker, known for its basketball, running and training footwear and apparel, is operating in a temporary space in Rimrock’s south wing while plans continue for their redesigned store, which is scheduled to open late summer/early fall.

Construction on the new Herberger’s space has begun, with a grand opening scheduled for early November, just in time for the 2015 holiday shopping season. To ensure customer service and merchandise are available to shoppers and guests, the current Herberger’s will continue operating until the new location is open.

Sand is Boom Business for Wisconsin

The shale boom isn’t just about what’s happening in places like North Dakota, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The Midwest, especially Wisconsin, is seeing the benefits because it’s a great source of sand for hydraulic fracturing:

Wisconsin was the leading producer of frac sand in 2014, accounting for nearly half of the nation’s production of the white sand coveted by the hydraulic fracturing industry, new statistics released recently show.

The United States Geological Survey’s preliminary estimates for 2014 show Wisconsin’s production at 24 million metric tons, compared with 8 million for Illinois, 8 million for Texas and 5 million for Minnesota.

Wisconsin, which has been dubbed the Saudi Arabia of sand, has seen a significant expansion of sand mines and sand processors in recent years as the oil and gas industry has expanded production of oil and gas through horizontal drilling techniques such as “fracking.”

In a report, the USGS estimated that frac sand sales totaled 31 million metric tons in 2012.

The sand is in high demand, because its grains are well able “to prop open underground shale formations fissured by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing,” National Geographic reports.

Frac sand is being mined, loaded onto rail cars, and shipped to the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shale plays.

Nearly half (47%) of all frac sand mined went to the Eagle Ford and Permian Shales in Texas. The Marcellus and Utica shales in the Northeast received 22% of the sand.

The skyrocketing growth in frac sand mining mirrors the growth of oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing.

Jobs supported by the frac sand mining industry are just part of the 524,000 jobs supported by shale energy development.

In 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis noted how sand mining has been a boon to rural areas in Wisconsin:

Unemployment in Barron County, Wis., topped 11 percent at one point during the recession. But since 2010, sand mining companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the predominantly rural county—making its economic development director bullish on the future.

“Frac sand is the biggest and best thing that’s happened in our lifetime in Barron County,” Bob Missling said. “I see frac sand becoming one of the county’s biggest sources of [business] revenue, moving forward.”

Even with softening oil prices over the last year, high demand for frac sand is expected to continue because more sand is being used for each well. “The USGS report says a typical fracking well used 900 tons of sand seven years ago but that had grown to 4,100 to 5,000 tons last year,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In addition, companies are considering refracturing existing wells to increase output.


View Shed Poses Controversy for Oil Producers

Repeated efforts by a conservation group to force North Dakota operators to move equipment and drilling rigs because they get in the way of the “view” of Theodore Roosevelt National Park brought sharp criticism from an attorney during hearings at the ND Industrial Commission in May.
“they have no standing to present anything,” said Lawrence Bender, the lawyer who represents several operators including Thunderbird Resources. “They are scolding my clients for developing valuable leasehold interests. I am just tired of their condescending approach at these meetings.”

Northwestern Energy Files to Decrease Electricity Rates

Northwestern Energy has filed its annual electricity supply cost tracker with the Montana Public Service Commission and it is projecting lower rates for customers beginning in July.

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