Becky and Gary Dupuis of Polson Theatres, Inc., in Polson, Montana, have purchased the Judith Theatre from Theo and Lisa Wright. The Dupuis have been renting the theater for several years.

Vicki and Marc Leesburg are opening Vintage and Rustics in Montana in downtown Miles City. The business opened for the first time during the annual Christmas Stroll.

The District Court of the District of Columbia is considering a motion that would force the federal government to approve the Dakota Access pipeline, a 1,172-mile line proposed to move up to 570,000 barrels of Bakken crude a day to a refinery in Illinois. The Corps has announced that it has decided not to grant the company an easement to cross under the bed of Lake Oahe. The Corps had issued Dakota Access a permit in July to build its line under the lake bed.

The DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula has been purchased. Edgewater Partners, took over the property on December 9. The hotel will remain a DoubleTree Hotel. The company plans a remodel the facilities, services and conference facilities.

Nationwide oil rig count jumped up by 20 in November with 288 active rigs – still 169 less than the same time last year. There were 471 drilling for oil – up 19—and 116 were drilling for gas – up 1 – and one was listed as miscellaneous. Colorado has 20, North Dakota 34, Utah 5, Wyoming 16, Montana 0. As of Nov. 22 the price of a barrel of oil ranged from $31.39 to $40.89. The price of ND light was $38.54, Wyoming Sweet was $40.31 and Montana Sweet $38.67. Most recent oil prices can be seen at www.oph.hotlineprinting.com.

Quantum Energy, Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., a diversified energy holding company, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Dominion Energy Processing Group, Inc., has successfully contracted for its proposed refinery site in the Stoughton, Saskatchewan area. The site is located in the Viewfield crude production area adjacent to the Crescent Point Energy gas plant and comprises 480 acres. The site is strategically located with Highway 33 access West to Regina (145km) and Highway 47 access north to Trans Canada Highway 1. Quantum Energy approached Billings a few years ago about locating a refinery here

WBI Energy Midstream, LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc. , announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its 50 percent non-operating ownership interest in the Pronghorn natural gas processing plant near Belfield, North Dakota. WBI Energy Midstream co-owns the plant and associated natural gas and oil-gathering pipelines with Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation. Tesoro Logistics Rockies, LLC, has agreed to purchase the plant and associated gathering lines for $200 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. WBI Energy Midstream acquired its interest in the Pronghorn facilities in May 2012 for $66 million. The company’s share of the sale price would be approximately $100 million.

Two industry groups ripped into the Bureau of Land Management for canceling oil and gas leases in Colorado’s White River National Forest. West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association and Western Energy Alliance described the Obama Administration’s action to cancel the leases as “shocking.” “Retroactive cancelation of natural gas leases ten years after the lease contracts were signed is the final chapter of this Administration’s punitive energy policy and assault on natural gas development on federal lands in western Colorado,” said David Ludlam, executive director of WSCOGA. (Oil Patch Hotline)

North Dakota will gain more than $19.8 million in additional taxes from 44 three-mile wells proposed under Lake Sakakawea sought by Slawson Exploration Co., Inc. of Denver. The company estimates the extensions will increase the expected recover of middle Bakken wells to 1,046,999 barrels of crude oil; Three Forks first bench wells to 731,928 barrels; and Three Forks second bench wells to 469,654 barrels.

The Department of Interior through the Bureau of Land Management has extended the existing mineral withdrawal from the Sweet Grass Hills, in Toole and Liberty Counties, for 20 more years. BLM Havre Field Manager Stanley Jaynes says, this mineral withdrawal helps to preserve the unique natural and cultural resources of this cherished Montana landscape. The Sweet Grass Hills were designated as a Traditional Cultural Property in 1995 by the BLM in consultation with the Assiniboine, Blackfeet, Chippewa-Cree, Gros Ventre, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, in regard to their origins, culture history and the nature of the world. The withdrawal covers 19,686 acres. The new order extends the withdrawal to April 9, 2037. The Sweet Grass Hills were closed to fluid mineral leasing by the Hi Line Resource Management Plan in September, 2015.

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