News: Continental Resources oil sale to China complex

One of North Dakota’s largest oil producers, Continental Resources, announced it has a deal in place to sell ~33,500 barrels per day of ND produced sweet crude to China. The deal creates logistics challenges in form of ensuring Continental oil isn’t comingled with other sources before being loaded and shipped, and it’s only possible because the ban on exporting U.S. oil was lifted in 2016.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Dakota Access increased ND tax revenue by $6M a month, state oil production up in August

In the early months of operation, the Dakota Access pipeline is proving to be a boon for North Dakota’s treasury. Because of lower costs getting oil to market, the price of North Dakota crude has gone up by about $2 per barrel since the line went operational. That equates to about $6 million per month in increased tax revenue.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Dakota Access helps drillers but isn’t a Bakken game-changer

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been online since June, and early indicators suggest that it’s reduced the cost of delivering North Dakota oil to market and added revenue to the state’s tax collections. But is it a game changer for the Bakken play? According to this Washington Post article featured in the Grand Forks Herald, perhaps not.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Enbridge pushes back on need for Line 3 oil pipeline replacement in Minnesota

Few infrastructure developments are more contentious these days than oil pipeline projects. We’ve had our own battles here in North Dakota, but in Minnesota getting pipelines approved is more difficult yet. But with regards to the Line 3 Pipeline from NE North Dakota to Superior Wisconsin, Enbridge is pushing back against regulatory slowplaying with facts on increasing demand and need.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: After Hurricane Power Outages, Looking To Alaska’s Microgrids For A Better Way

If there’s anything we’ve learned from this year’s hurricane’s, it’s a lesson on the vulnerability of our power grid. How do we make ourselves more resilient? Perhaps a look north will provide the answer as Alaska’s isolated communities develop blueprints for sustainable, locally generated power infrastructure. It’s a relevant topic for North Dakota because as our energy customers become more locally resilient, they’ll have less need for the...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: EPA chief to discuss water regulations during visit to state

Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s top administrator, will be visiting North Dakota next week, and the Waters of the U.S. rule making is expected to be a hot topic of conversation. Between agricultural and energy industries and our cultural disposition toward property rights, environmental regulations and rules have big impacts on North Dakota, and it sounds like those are some of the messages that will be carried to Mr....  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Half of Well Productivity Gains May be Due to Core Acreage Drilling, Not Better Frac Designs

There’s little doubt those operating in the Bakken have gotten more efficient in the past few years. The low prices have forced operators to get costs under control and the end result is an oil play that’s more economically resilient. But what about the wells, are we getting better at getting more oil out of them? On that point, the data isn’t as clear, and one MIT study...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: Claims that renewable energy threatens the stability of the US power grid is ludicrous

A common argument heard in North Dakota is the need to maintain coal-fired power plants because of their ability to provide the basic baseline power needs of the electrical grid. That we would attach ourselves to arguments that defend an industry important to our state is not surprising; I would say it’s a natural reaction. There is another perspective, though. This commentary from Quartz defends the modernization of...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: A Toxic Legacy: North Dakota Looks To Clean Up Old Oilfield Waste

One of the considerable by-products of oil production in North Dakota is the extremely salty wastewater we get back along with the oil. It’s not a new problem. And though modern practices inject wastewater deep underground, there are still a number of legacy era brine pits that continue to leach salt water contamination into nearby fields. Amy Sisk with Inside Energy has the story that hits near to...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Worker shortage slows Bakken oil drilling but production remains above 1M barrels per day

The number of rigs active in North Dakota is holding steady the past few months and production is still above a million barrels per day, but there’s a worker shortage in the fracking industry that’s delaying completion of many already-drilled wells. There’s also some transition taking place in the amount of oil moved by rail which is an expected result of the Dakota Access Pipeline coming online. Amy...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Saskatchewan Rig activity up slightly

We’re used to seeing the U.S. rig count and the increases or decreases in North Dakota, but it’s easy to forget that the northern prairie oil play extends into Canada as well. That gives us a second indicator of optimism in the industry and compared to last year, the Canadians are optimistic about oil futures. In 2016, there were just 16 rigs working in Saskatchewan; on July 10,...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: First tech, now financing: U.S. shale firms get creative to pump more oil

Necessity is the mother of invention, and we’ve experienced that first hand here in the North Dakota oil patch. The necessity was to survive an OPEC supply assault intended to force shale operators out of the market with lower prices. The invention was better, more efficient ways to drill. And as the term of the low prices extends, financing the operation seems to be the next part of...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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