The Crow Tribe has received $15 million from the State of Montana as settlement in a lawsuit filed by the tribe against the State of Montana. The Crow tribe retains the right to tax its coal. The coal is currently being mined by Westmoreland Coal Company. All taxes on the minerals in the involved acreage will go to the Tribe
Interstate Engineering, a regional engineering firm, has relocated it’s office in Fort Peck to 6066 MT Highway 24 South. The firm has 14 offices in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced new rules on the venting and flaring of methane gas on federal lands. Supporters of the new regulations claim it will reduce greenhouse gases. Industry groups believe the new regulations will place an undue burden on energy development.
The break-evens point on wells in the Bakken have lowered another $5 to $13, and many North Dakota counties are now competitive with the Middle East. While North Dakota’s production has continued to decline to 971,658 barrels per day in September. Technology advances have produced economics in American shale plays that are some of the best in the world.
The 175,000 ounces of platinum group metals (PGMs) processed during the third quarter by Stillwater Mine was an 8.7 percent increase over the 2015 third quarter and a company record. PGM mined production was up 8.4 percent. All-in sustaining costs (AISC) were down 7.8 percent from the 2015 third quarter while safety performance continued to improve with a 13.2 percent decreased reportable incident rate. Stillwater Mines foremost growth project, Blitz, has been accelerated.
A couple of weeks ago, Elliot Eisenberg, Bowtie Economist, reported that “first-time unemployment claims data came in at a staggeringly low level of 235,000, the lowest weekly level since 11/24/73. The data has been strong for years and suggests very few layoffs. Additionally, October housing starts were very good! While YTD starts are up 5.9%, all important single-family starts are up a strong 10.1%. October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 869,000 single-family starts is the best level since 10/07!”
Eric Hyyppa, the director and general manager of KUSM Television, MontanaPBS, has been elected by his peers to the national PBS Board of Directors. The 27-person PBS board includes both professional directors, who are station leaders, and general directors, who serve as lay members of the board, as well as the PBS president.
Announced during the Annual Meeting, Nov. 18-19, Northern Plains Resource Council members elected the following officers to the Board of Directors for 2017. Chair Kate French of Bozeman; Vice Chair Becky Mitchell of Billings; Secretary Ed Gulick of Billings; Treasurer Jeanie Alderson of Birney; Assistant Secretary Cindy Webber of Big Timber; Assistant Treasurer Deb Muth of Red Lodge; at-large Board members Janet McMillan of Greenough, Walter Archer of Olive, Morgan Pett of Miles City, and Alaina Buffalo Spirit of Lame Deer.
This year’s crop for Montana sugar beet growers has exceeded the record. They have harvested 1.124 million tons, surpassing the previous record set in 1998. They also set a record for per acre production at 31 tons.
Current rig count in the US, as reported in the Oil Patch Hotline, jumped up by 12 with 569 active rigs drilling as of Nov. 4. That is still 202 less than were drilling at this same time last year. There were 45- drilling for oil, up 9, and 117 drilling for gas, up 3, and two were listed as miscellaneous. In the last two weeks, the number of rigs in Colorado dropped by two while North Dakota saw seven new rigs added. The latest rig count as of Nov. 4 is Colorado 18, Montana 0, North Dakota 37, South Dakota 0, Utah 5, Wyoming 17.

Market Update

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