Industry Clips from the Montana Petroleum Association, Inc.

Study of state’s renewable‐power mandate has support of environmentalists, utility companies (Jan. 17, Helena IR)Utility companies and environmental groups alike Thursday spoke in favor of a proposed legislative study of Montana’s nearly 8‐year‐old mandate for utilities to produce renewable power, saying it’s time to evaluate its impacts on industry, consumers and the state.

Sen. Alan Olson, R‐Roundup, the sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 6, which calls for the study, said there’s been much discussion about the mandate, pro and con, since it began. A legislative study over the next 18 months can help “make a determination, one way or the other” on its effects, he said. It will “give us a firm, good grasp on where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Olson said.

Montana’s Unemployment Rate Falls, Flathead’s Ticks Up (Jan. 18, Flathead Beacon)Northwest Montana continues to have some of the highest jobless rates in the state, with Lincoln County leading
the way at 14.8 percent, followed by Sanders County at 14.1 percent. (A link within the article pulls up a report showing the lowest unemployment rate in Eastern Montana)

DRIESSEN: Obama’s wishful thinking on green energy (Jan. 18, Washington Times) Fracking translates into competitive advantages and more jobs, economic productivity and tax revenues. IHS Global Insight calculates that this revolutionary technology has already created 1.7 million new jobs, pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and generated more than $60 billion in federal, state and local tax receipts during 2012 alone. By 2035, it could create another 2 million jobs, rejuvenate American manufacturing, inject more than $5 trillion in cumulative capital expenditures into the U.S. economy, and generate $2.5 trillion in additional government revenues.

Obama’s Second‐Term Energy And Climate Agenda Taking Shape (Jan. 18, Huffington Post)The natural gas boom “puts the administration in an interesting position. They can be aggressive and look at natural gas for the possibilities it brings, or they can bow to the environmental community, which is not interested in more natural gas drilling,” said Frank Maisano, a Washington spokesman for a range of energy producers from coal to wind. The emergence of cheap, plentiful natural gas in particular poses a dilemma for Obama, who supports gas development as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels that trigger global warming.

‘FrackNation’ documentary exposing the truth about fracking in the U.S. set for release next week (Jan. 18, Red Alert Politics)McAleer considers fracking to be a human rights issue more than anything else. That is why he focuses on the human aspects of fracking, such as the hardships that many farmers face financially if they aren’t allowed to lease out their land to oil companies. According to McAleer, there is a “mass movement for fracking” more so than there is a mass movement against it.

URTeC, 12-14 August 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver

The inaugural Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards will be held in Denver on Tuesday 12 March 2013 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The senior industry executives judging the Oil & Gas Awards have had a busy December reviewing almost 300 entries from around 200 different companies and casting their votes.

The awards celebrate the achievements of upstream & midstream companies, service providers and suppliers, twinned with the industry’s commitment to H&S, Environmental Stewardship and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Congratulations to the following companies that have been voted as finalists in the 2012 Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards:

  • A&W Water Service, Inc.
  • AbTech Industries, Inc.
  • Ames Savage Water Solutions
  • Antea Group
  • Aon Corporation
  • Aqua-Pure Ventures
  • BeneTerra
  • Black Hills Exploration and Production, Inc.
  • Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc.
  • Bradsby Group
  • Brady Trucking, Inc.
  • Burleson LLP
  • Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc.
  • Cobra Manufacturing & Sales LLC
  • Coldsweep Inc.
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • Davis & Davis Company
  • Ecocion, Inc.
  • Encana Corporation
  • Enviro Voraxial® Technology, Inc.
  • Frank Henry Equipment USA, LLC
  • FTS International
  • Gold Spur Trucking
  • Herbrick Agency
  • High Sierra Energy, LP
  • Honeywell Analytics
  • IMA, Inc.
  • KLJ
  • Marquis Alliance Energy Group
  • McPherson & McVey
  • Nexus Staffing Solutions, LLC
  • ONEOK, Inc.
  • Precision Placement Services, Inc.
  • Produced Water Solutions, Inc.
  • PTI Group USA
  • QEP Resources, Inc.
  • Questar Pipeline Company
  • Ryckman Creek Resources, LLC
  • Savage
  • Spartan Engineering Inc.
  • Stellar Recruitment
  • Target Logistics
  • TaxOps LLC
  • TETRA Technologies, Inc.
  • Vacuworx® Global
  • Venoco, Inc.
  • Westcon, Inc.
  • Zavanna, LLC

The winners will be announced at the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards gala dinner ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver on Tuesday 12 March.

The list of all finalist companies can be found at as well as information about table bookings for each gala event. For information on sponsorship opportunities and to reserve your table for what will be a fantastic night of celebration please call Marc Bridgen on +1 (210) 591 8475 or email

URTeC, 12-14 August 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver

by North Dakota Housing & Finance Agency

The Industrial Commission of North Dakota has reported that more than 600 private investors have successfully capitalized the $15 million state Housing Incentive Fund (HIF).

“Thanks to North Dakota citizens and our business community, the Housing Incentive Fund is fully capitalized and available to move forward on affordable housing projects in western North Dakota and across the state,” members of the Industrial Commission said in a joint statement. “With legislative approval, we will continue to utilize the Housing Incentive Fund to encourage even greater affordable housing development.”

The Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, which administers HIF.

Created by the 2011 Legislature, HIF is used to develop affordable multifamily housing. Contributors to the fund receive a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit for their contributions. Dollars given can be targeted to a specific project or community.

Ninety percent of the contributions were by individuals who contributed an average of $10,021. The largest corporate supporter was Marathon Oil Co., contributing $3 million. Gate City Bank contributed $1.25 million, the most by a financial institution.

“Developer interest in the program was strong from the start, with all of the available financing spoken for in less than a year,” said Mike Anderson, NDHFA executive director.

NDHFA has conditionally committed HIF dollars to 26 projects to create 739 new units in Beach, Belfield, Bowman, Crosby, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Grand Forks, Kenmare, Killdeer, Kulm, Mandan, Minot, Parshall, Ray, Watford City and Williston. Total construction cost for the projects is $104 million.

“Our greatest challenge was getting the word to taxpayers that they could direct their tax dollars to affordable housing development,” said Anderson. “We are grateful for assistance from our housing partners, business groups and the media in reaching this goal.”

Governor Dalrymple has proposed transferring $30 million from the state general fund for direct investment in HIF for the 2013-15 biennium. An additional $20 million in tax credits would bring the total fund to $50 million. The proposed legislation has been pre-filed as House Bill 1029.

For more information on HIF, contact NDHFA at (701) 328-8080, (800) 292-8621

Posted on 1/3/2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.

The U.S. is enjoying a startling revival of its oil & gas industry. Millions of jobs and billions in revenues have been unleashed by tech-centric drilling on private and state lands. Domestic oil production has reversed a 40-year decline. There’s so much natural gas in production that ports planned a few years ago to handle imports are now being redesigned for exports.

But the primary technique responsible for this largesse, simplistically known as “fracking,” has become embroiled in controversy over safety claims. Activists are trying to get it banned wherever they can — by town, city, or state — and simultaneously to encourage onerous new federal regulations that could throttle the industry.

Much of the alarmism can be traced to a widely excerpted clip from GasLand, a 2010 documentary. It shows well water, drilled near fracked gas fields, flowing from a kitchen sink, aflame. Actually, the water in question “contained biogenic methane” not attributable to hydraulic fracturing. But GasLand writer/narrator Josh Fox says that fact isn’t “relevant.”

This particularly egregious distortion is likely what animated Irish investigative journalist Phelim McAleer to dig deeper into GasLand’s claims. McAleer’s resulting documentary, FrackNationopens January 7 in New York City. FrackNation is an elegant antidote to GasLand, andcoincidentally to Matt Damon’s new Promised Land, the latter a “clumsy crusade against fracking,” according to a recent NRO review.

McAleer begins witha revealing public exchange with Fox at a GasLand screening in 2011, then visits the residents of the bucolic farmlands where fracking is done, or could be done. (Full disclosure: McAleer also interviews my colleague, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce.) Fox repeatedly refuses an interview, so McAleer executes a Michael Moore–style ambush. Fox scurries away, and gets security to remove McAleer and his team from a public building. In running, Fox only indicts himself.

FrackNation eviscerates one after another of Fox’s claims, including an assertion that breast-cancer rates soared around Texas’ shale-oil fields. The AP has reported the Texas Cancer Registry shows no such fact.

McAleer’s gentle manner and Irish brogue are well-suited to this often emotionally charged issue. Still, at one point McAleer is threatened with potential violence by a woman who has claimed her well water was contaminated by fracking but refuses to share with McAleer the EPA test that showed otherwise. With a Freedom Of Information request, McAleer pried loose the EPA video documenting that agency’s contentious meeting with the homeowner.

The issue for McAleer is not just the unreasonable alarmism on display, but its effect on the people who are denied the game-changing economic benefits wherever fracking is blocked.

Of course there are local environmental considerations with oil and gas that warrant caution, as with many industries. But the issues — from road wear-and-tear, to noise and surface management of fuel and waste — are not unique to fracking.

For the record, a comprehensive review in the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum reached the same conclusion as McAleer: “ . . . hydraulic fracturing is a safe and effective way to recover oil and gas from shale formations.” Even exiting EPA head Lisa Jackson told Congress there are no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.”

It’s worth pointing out that for every hard-hat job in the field, this boom creates six related jobs from manufacturing and education to health care and information services.  It generates royalties and taxes that fund social programs, research, education, and infrastructure. The nation stands to gain over four million jobs from expanding hydrocarbon production, as well asover $2 trillion in total economic benefits. That’s a lot to pass up because of distorted hype over fracking.

— Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of Unleashing the North American Energy Colossus.

Harold Hamm is a big advocate of the potential of the Bakken field and it appears his confidence in the play is well placed. Continental Resources has increased its estimates by 57%, to the tune of 903 billion barrels of original oil in place. There’s been no word on what the recoverable rate would increase to with this new data.

Earlier this year, Continental estimated the Bakken holds 24 billion Boe of recoverable reserves. With the US Geological Survey slated to complete its reassessment of the Bakken in 2013, it seems these numbers will only go up if the trend continues.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 3, 2012 – Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR) announced today it successfully completed the Charlotte 3-22H (91% WI), the first horizontal well to test the third bench (TF3) of the Three Forks zone in the Bakken field of North Dakota and Montana.

The Charlotte 3-22H flowed 953 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boepd) at 1700 psi on a 28/64 choke in its initial one-day test period. Located in McKenzie County, North Dakota, it was drilled to a total depth of 21,324 feet, including a 9,701-foot lateral section, and was completed with Continental’s standard 30-stage fracture stimulation design.

“We’re very pleased with the initial performance of the Charlotte 3-22H,” said Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The well has been producing for 15 days and its performance compares favorably with other first bench (TF1) and second bench (TF2) producing Three Forks wells.”

Continental has been a pioneer in the discovery and development of the Three Forks reservoir in the Bakken field. The Company was the first to demonstrate incremental reserves from the TF1 in 2008 and the first to establish commercial production from the TF2 in 2011. Establishing production from the TF3 is yet another significant milestone in the growth of the Company’s assets in the world-class Bakken oil field. If the Charlotte 3-22H continues to perform in line with the second bench Charlotte 2-22H, it will be the first well to establish commercial production in the third bench.

“This could be a real game-changer,” Mr. Hamm said. “The Charlotte 3-22H is the first well in a 14-well program that we plan to complete by year-end 2013 to test productivity of the second, third and fourth benches of the Three Forks over a broad area of the play.”

The 1280-acre Charlotte unit is the first unit in the Bakken field to have wells producing from three separate horizons – the Middle Bakken, TF2 and TF3 zones.

Continental estimated in late 2010 that the Bakken field would eventually yield 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Boe), based on technology available at that time. This estimate included 20 billion barrels of oil and 4 billion Boe of natural gas, and assumed 577 billion barrels of original oil in place in the Bakken and TF1. With the addition of oil found in the lower Three Forks benches, which includes the TF2, TF3 and TF4, the Company now estimates the field has 903 billion barrels of original oil in place, a 57 percent increase.

“The successful completion of the Charlotte 3-22H is another step in our efforts to assess the productivity and reserve potential of the lower benches of the Three Forks which is one of the goals of our 2013 drilling program” said Jack Stark, Senior Vice President of Exploration. “The results are very encouraging and indicate there may be upside to our estimate of 24 billion Boe of recoverable reserves for the Bakken field.”

Retrieved 1-3-2013. Dakota Oil Jobs.

Dickinson, ND –

In 2012, North Dakota made oil headlines by taking over as the number two producer in the nation.

While production continues to ramp up daily, there is one part of western North Dakota were the excitement of oil has gone bust.

Chesapeake’s attempt to find the southern edge of the Bakken, is being described as the largest failure in drilling in the state since the 1980’s.

There are a few well sites in western North Dakota that look more like ghost towns than multi-million dollar holes.

Chesapeake secured leases in a large part of the state, south of I-94.

They drilled 8 wells, only 3 produced oil — but at minimal amounts.

So little that all holes have been shut in.

Director of Mineral Resources for the state of North Dakota, Lynn Helms, says “geologically, there were some surprises. We knew that there wouldn’t be any lower Bakken Shale in that area. What surprised us was to find out there’s no upper Bakken Shale in that area.”

Chesapeake’s wells, a bust.

It’s the largest failure in recent oil history in North Dakota.

“That pretty much condemns an area, if you don’t have Bakken present, the risk for finding oil goes way up and you need to have some structure,” says Helms.

The wells are scattered to the south of I-94 between Dickinson and Belfield.

Tanks are there, collecting nothing.

Well heads are in place, abandoned.

And at one site a pumping unit has been partially removed.

Helms says, “there’s only one well that’s made any measurable oil, and it’s about 10 percent oil at best, 90% water.”

Chesapeake was after the chance they may hit oil in this less developed area.

Helms says Chesapeake invested 60 million in the prospect of hitting oil.

That excludes money spent on leases.

“Because all the drilling had been taking place north of there and the geological risk was zero, it made it look too easy. So in terms of the technology of drilling and fracking, well prepared but in terms of geology probably not,” says Helms.

Chesapeake’s risk taking — provided large clues about where the Bakken ends. “It looks like 4-6 miles south of I-94 the Bakken Shale disappears,” says Helms.

Their experimental drilling will also provide answers about what else could be below.

Kathy Neset with Neset Consulting says, “they’re taking that information and they’re studying it. They are going to learn everything they can from those wells.”

Neset provides geology services to oil companies.

She says this is not the end of Chesapeake in North Dakota.

“They’re not going to say, we’re going to drill one well, if it doesn’t work, we are out of here. They have a very committed program in drilling and evaluating, I think we’ll see Chesapeake back here. They may be disappointed right now. But I think they’ll be back,” says Neset.

Maybe back and drilling in another formation.

Both Neset and Helms say there’s potential in the Tyler formation.

Helms says, “the area does lie between two producing Tyler fields and has mature Tyler source rock, so it’s not the end of the story by any means.”

Helms says Chesapeake will be forced to either reenter the well sites or to plug and abandon them soon.

The state only allows a non paying well to stay on the landscape for a year.

Retreived 1-2-2013. KX News.