Bismarck, N.D. – The failure of the repeal of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rules regarding methane emissions on federal and tribal lands is an affront to North Dakota and state primacy, says North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness.

“The industry supports the goals of capturing greater quantities of associated gas and reducing waste but this duplicative and unnecessary rule comes at an enormous cost to the state’s economy, tax revenues and private mineral owners.

“We are extremely disappointed in Senator Heitkamp’s decision today to vote against the repeal of this rule. Hundreds of energy employees and numerous businesses, chambers of commerce and trade associations wrote to express concern for the rule. Despite this, Senator Heitkamp has chosen to stand with the environmental activists and the Democratic party in Washington rather than the oil and gas workers and people of North Dakota.

“This rule will provide no environmental benefits, will only increase costs for state and federal governments and the industry, and will further burden already overtaxed federal employees and dilute their ability to perform essential duties. Instead, Senator Heitkamp could have been the deciding vote that would have allowed the BLM and other federal agencies to make a larger, more immediate impact on reducing flaring and venting by focusing on fixing permitting, infrastructure and pipeline delays.

“Just yesterday, Senator Heitkamp applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to grant the state primacy and regulatory authority over CO2 injection wells and the certainty it would bring for North Dakota energy. Her decision today is a complete reversal of that stance. North Dakota already has some of the most comprehensive regulations addressing flaring and waste in the nation. Over the past two years, North Dakota has adopted a series of strict gas capture targets. At the same time, the industry has voluntarily made huge strides in natural gas capture by investing more than $13 billion in natural gas infrastructure since 2006. As a result, flaring has declined by more than 54 percent in just three years even as natural gas production has increased. This progress will only be threatened by the continued uncertainty and bureaucratic red tape brought on by the BLM rule, discouraging innovation and complicating the process for approving infrastructure that will ultimately ensure the capture of more of our valuable natural gas resources.

“We are grateful for Senator Hoeven and Congressman Cramer’s hard work and support for North Dakota Energy and energy workers. We look forward to working with them to pursue other avenues of rescinding this detrimental rule.”

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About the North Dakota Petroleum Council
Since 1952, the Petroleum Council has been the primary voice of the oil and gas industry in North Dakota. The Petroleum Council represents more than 500 companies involved in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including oil and gas production, refining, pipeline, mineral leasing, consulting, legal work, and oil field service activities in North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Rocky Mountain Region. For more information, go to www.ndoil.org.

Media Contact:
TESSA SANDSTROM
Director of Communications, NDPC
T. 701.223.6380
EnergyOfNorthDakota.com | NDOil.org

jessica-senaBy: Jessica Sena

If you haven’t heard of the Dakota Access pipeline protest across the North Dakota border, now’s the time to pay attention.

The project, a 30-inch-diameter pipeline owned by Energy Transfer Partners that would move up to 570,000 barrels per day from the Bakken oil fields to Patoka, Illinois, was scheduled to be operational by the end of the year. The pipeline operator purchased voluntary easement agreements on 100% of the properties along the route in North Dakota and 99% of the properties across the entire four-state route. All permits, including approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in July, have also been obtained by the company; however, protests have stopped construction in its tracks.

Yesterday, two decisions marked a precedent setting action by the federal government, with respect to land use and lawful development. Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court denied the South Dakota Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit to block pipeline construction, siting a lack of evidence that building the pipeline would harm the Tribe.

The Departments of Justice, the Interior and the Army then immediately announced an indefinite suspension of pipeline construction to reassess cultural impacts to what the Tribe calls “sacred ground”. The pipeline route does not cross the Standing Rock reservation, however, the Tribe fears harm to Lake Oahe on the Missouri River in North and South Dakota.

Consultation with GeoEngineers, a subcontractor to Dakota Access, provided information which indicates the boring process would not be of a magnitude to impact natural features, cultural resource features or above ground structures. The crossing at Lake Oahe will be placed approximately 140-210 feet below the ground surface and approximately 92 feet below the bottom of Lake Oahe. The pipeline would utilize the best available safety and monitoring technology.

The Dakota Access team held 154 meetings with local elected officials and community organizations in North Dakota since the project was announced last summer. Over the course of the year-long approval process with the North Dakota Public Service Commission, the Tribe did not once appear to voice concerns over the impacts of the pipeline’s route.

Protests arose after the project was approved and easements secured, and have since become violent and unlawful. Construction workers (100% of which are union per the project agreement) have needed protection by security guards and law enforcement. National Guardsmen have also been alerted by the North Dakota Governor to standby for support.

Allies of the Tribe in its protest have been extreme environmental groups, the Black Lives Matters movement, a handful of celebrities, and Green Party candidate for President, Jill Stein. Stein was among many seen vandalizing construction equipment last week, for which a warrant was issued for her arrest. Multiple arrests of protesters have been made along the pipeline route for trespassing and criminal mischief.

The suit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the tribe states that, “the tribe relies on the waters of Lake Oahe for drinking water, irrigation, fishing and recreation and to carry out cultural and religious practices. The public water supply for the tribe, which provides drinking water for thousands of people, is located a few miles downstream of the proposed pipeline crossing route.” It goes on to say, “the cultural and religious significance of these waters cannot be overstated. Construction of the pipeline … and building and burying the pipeline would destroy burial grounds, sacred sites, and historically significant areas on either side of Lake Oahe.”

In the federal agencies’ announcement to halt construction on federal land and beneath Lake Oahe, it was said the conflict highlights the need to consider “nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.” “Reform” is the word that should have everyone concerned.

In a 1988 case, Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association, wherein The U.S. Forest Service attempted to complete a logging road through the Six Rivers National Forest in northwestern California, despite the religious use of the area by three Indian tribes, the Supreme Court ruled against the Tribes.

By ruling in favor of development, the Court avoided a situation in which tribes could guarantee the nonuse of significant portions of government land. The Court, reportedly, realized that the veto power requested by the tribes “could easily require de facto beneficial ownership of some rather spacious tracts of public property,” and it accordingly acted to prevent such an occurrence.

Following the decision, the Supreme Court stated, “however much we might wish that it were otherwise, government simply could not operate if it were required to satisfy every citizen’s religious needs and desires.”

And here we are, now faced with the very question of satisfying desires of some people over the laws which govern all people. The federal government has gone against its own agencies and judges’ lawful determinations to allow the heavily regulated construction of a $3.7 billion dollar pipeline which would create between 8,000-12,000 construction jobs and millions in beneficial tax revenue to the states in which it operates.

It’s worth noting that there are more than 2 million miles of pipeline traversing the country. Seventy percent of domestic crude is transported by pipeline, the safest means of moving oil and natural gas according to the federal government’s own Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Those resources, moved by pipeline, provide the necessary living essentials to all people, regardless of their beliefs or support. Every one of the protestors along the Dakota Access pipeline is a consumer of petroleum products, and benefits from the monies which result from pipeline infrastructure.

This decision, perhaps a Keystone XL sequel, will set the stage for what appears to be a frightening and uncertain future. If unlawful protests can reverse lawful permits, then the rule of law itself as it pertains to pipelines, permits, people and public lands as a whole, is imperiled.

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(Photo courtesy of State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection)

April marks 65 years since North Dakota first became an oil producing state. Although there have been ups and downs, the industry continues today and is among the top oil producers in the world.  And it all started with the Clarence Iverson #1.

According to Clarence Herz, legend had it that when a landman approached a North Dakota wheat farmer about leasing his mineral rights for oil exploration he said he’d be glad to sign a lease and quipped, “I’ll drink all the oil you get in North Dakota.”

Herz continues:
On April 4th, 1951, North Dakota, after unsuccessfully exploring for 34 years, became the 27th state to produce petroleum.  The discovery well, Amerada Petroleum’s Clarence Iverson #1, produced nearly 250 barrels of oil per day.  It was North Dakota’s only producing well in 1951, as the other 9 attempts, all outside of the Williston Basin, were dry holes. The other nine wells, none of which were drilled by Amerada, were in Cavalier (4), Grand Forks, Morton, Pembina, Pierce, and Stutsman counties.

Click here to continue reading the history of North Dakota’s first well.

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Bismarck, N.D. – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unnecessary and duplicative proposed rules for venting and flaring could reduce production on impacted leases, reduce state tax revenues and cost thousands of private royalty owners millions in lost royalty income, according to the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC).

“The industry supports the goals of capturing greater quantities of associated gas and reducing waste but this one-size-fits-all federal process could come at a huge cost to North Dakotans while providing few – if any – benefits,” said Tessa Sandstrom, communications manager for the NDPC.

Early industry estimates anticipate production could decrease by more than 20 percent from more than 2,780 affected wells. This would cost the state $23.8 million in oil and gas severance taxes and North Dakota mineral owners more than $39.1 million in lost royalty income if the rule were fully implemented.

“The BLM claims that they could collect $23 million in additional royalty revenues for the federal government, but even if that were true, it would be at the expense of more than $62.9 million in tax revenues and royalty income in North Dakota alone,” said Sandstrom.

“North Dakota already has some of the most comprehensive regulations addressing flaring in the nation. Over the past two years, North Dakota has adopted a series of strict gas capture targets. At the same time, the industry has voluntarily made huge strides in natural gas capture by investing more than $13 billion in natural gas infrastructure since 2006. As a result, flaring has declined even as natural gas production increased.

“This progress has been despite federal regulations, which is often responsible for delays preventing industry from building infrastructure needed to capture more gas. BLM’s staff, time and resources are already overtaxed. Implementing rules and regulations that are already covered by state or other federal agencies is unnecessary and will only further burden employees and dilute their ability to perform their duties. BLM and other federal agencies could make a larger, more immediate impact on reducing flaring by instead fixing permitting, infrastructure and pipeline delays.”

About the North Dakota Petroleum Council
Since 1952, the Petroleum Council has been the primary voice of the oil and gas industry in North Dakota. The Petroleum Council represents more than 500 companies involved in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including oil and gas production, refining, pipeline, mineral leasing, consulting, legal work, and oil field service activities in North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Rocky Mountain Region. For more information, go to www.ndoil.org.

Media Contact:
Tessa Sandstrom, Communications Manager  | ND Petroleum Council
701.223.6380, tsandstrom@ndoil.org

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Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 11.02.34 AMREAD the FULL STORY ONLINE: http://bakkenjournal.uberflip.com/i/389533/28

Response from Quantum about building their refinery in Billings

When asked about the information that had come to light, Yellowstone County Commissioners immediately distanced themselves from the company. Quantum Energy sent a letter to the Billings Gazette insisting to have it published in its entirety or not at all. The Gazette had published a negative article about Quantum Energy and declined to print the letter. The Bakken Oil Business Journal will publish the letter along with this article.

However, the letter answered no substantive questions about their finances or Andrew J. Kacic and states that they would make no further comment on the issue.

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The public has heard nothing from Quantum Energy, Andrew J. Kacic or the Yellowstone County Commissioners about an oil refinery or any impending land purchases since August 19, 2014 meeting. MarketWatch listed Quantum Energy Inc. ATC stock at 50 cents a share with no trades after August 14, 2014.

The Billings Gazette published a follow up to the original story on Oct. 2nd.

After big splash, not a trickle of news about new Billings refinery plans

By Tom Lutey, Source: Billings Gazette.

More than a month after floating plans for a new oil refinery in Billings, Arizona-based Quantum Energy hasn’t been in touch with Yellowstone County commissioners.

Commissioner John Ostlund said he hasn’t heard from Quantum since Aug. 19, when CEO Andrew Kacic said Quantum wowed commissioners with talk of a $500 million Billings refinery to convert Bakken crude into diesel fuel. At the time, Kacic said Quantum would be revealing a potential refinery site a few days after his meeting with commissioners.

The announcement never came, and within days of Kacic’s meeting with county commissioners, court documents surfaced indicating Kacic had in the past run substantial personal expenses through his other businesses.

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Calls to Quantum Chairman Stanley F. Wilson were not returned Thursday.

The Big Sky Economic Development Authority, which normally vets large commercial project proposed in Yellowstone County, also confirmed no contact with Quantum since August.

Quantum had indicated plans to build five “micro-refineries” in Montana and North Dakota, each with a $500 million price tag and possibly 150 employees.

On its website, Quantum indicates it has a two-year option for a 144-acre refinery site near Fairview. The company also reports it has a three-year option on land near Baker.

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New development to build master plan community
Caitlyn Beley, Communications Director
Williston Economic Development & City of Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. – More shovels plunged into Williston’s world-class economy, breaking ground on a new 535 acre mixed-use development on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Located at 56th Street and U.S. Highway 2/85, Northstar Center will serve as the northern gateway to America’s fastest-growing micropolitan city.
The live/work master plan community will offer over 2,000 dwelling units and more than 2.7 million square feet of commercial space. Northstar Center is currently the largest planned urban development in the Williston Basin, providing the community with more parks, walking trails, and softball diamonds; a combined total of 105 acres.
This is an important step in working toward building a connected, accessible community, according to Mayor Howard Klug. This connectivity and accessibility will provide Williston with opportunities to celebrate family, friends and community; and safe routes to get there.
“In developing this large, comprehensive complex to include extensive green space as well as housing and shopping space, you are helping realize many of the needs of the Williston community,” said Jon Cameron, spokesperson for U.S. Senator John Hoeven.
The development team consists of local GM Dealer, Patrick Murphy; Jason Vedadi, Titanium Builders; Larry Miller, master plan developer of Citation Communities; and Dwain Davis of Templeton Enterprises.
For information regarding sales and leasing please contact Joe Kachuroi of Bakken Realty/Remax at (701) 770-5893.

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URTeC Takes Center Stage in Colorado
Record Attendance Expected as Professionals Across All Segments of the Unconventional Arena Converge for Integrated Event

Complimentary Press Passes Available Here

August 18, 2014//Tulsa, OK – The second edition of the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) takes center stage 25-27 August at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. The 2014 event highlights unconventional resource possibilities in North America and around the world, as well as takes an in-depth look at existing plays.

URTeC 2014 is attracting acute interest from the industry as it brings together scientists, engineers and business managers to cross-pollinate ideas and encourage an “asset team” approach to exploration and production. With attendance trending ahead of last year’s inaugural event, the multidisciplinary organizing committee is optimistic that this year’s event will exceed expectations.

“The response to URTeC affirms the importance of this approach to the industry and we look forward to providing a robust, highly-interactive and superior attendee experience,” said Mr. Luis Baez, Co-chair of URTeC’s Technical Program Committee. “The program committee has worked diligently to ensure that the content being offered serves professionals across all segments of the unconventional arena and is second to none.”

A joint project of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) with help from the American Association of Mechanical Engineers, Petroleum Division (ASME-PD), URTeC is one of the industry’s only integrated science and technology events.

The opening plenary session features a panel of experts that will address the topic of “Using Science and Integrated Technologies to Develop Unconventional Plays.” Other interactive panel discussions include “Nimble Independents: Moving the Needle With Innovation and Execution Excellence,” “Converting Technology Into Dollars,” “Emerging International Plays,” “Water Management and the Link to License to Operate” and “Marcellus Shale: ‘Bottom Up’ Integrated Assessment of Future Production and Reserves.”

The program, comprising experts from every aspect of the unconventional sector, features multi-themed technical sessions including 190+ oral sessions, 60+ ePapers, team presentations, topical breakfasts and luncheons, and interactive panel sessions. Cores from several unconventional reservoirs will be on display allowing attendees to view the rocks and compare analyses and results summarized by service companies. Cores are expected from the Haynesville, Bossier, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Utica, Woodford, Niobrara, Tuscaloosa and Bakken plays.

“Attendees with various levels of unconventional experience will attend. It attracts those that have expertise in unconventionals with its top-quality content,” said Jennifer Bell, chair of the ASME’s Petroleum Division and chief executive officer of Elements Offshore LLC in Houston. She will serve as co-chair for the URTeC session “Emerging Plays: Roadway from Ideas to Sweetspots.”

“URTeC is the best venue where technology can be shared,” said AAPG award-winning member Bob Hardage of the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.

Several Companies Expected to Announce New Products
Press conferences by exhibiting companies will take place over the course of the event. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.urtec.org or contact press@urtec.org.

Complimentary Press Registrations Available
Members of the press are invited to attend URTeC free of charge, with access to conference sessions, the exhibition and opening plenary session. Expedite press registration or request additional information by contacting Vern Stefanic. For full conference program details, registration, exhibition and sponsorship information, visit www.urtec.org.

About SPE
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves more than 124,000 members in 135 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, events, training courses, and online resources at www.spe.org.

About AAPG
Founded in 1917, AAPG is the premiere global organization for petroleum explorationists with over 42,500 members in 129 countries. The original purpose of AAPG, to foster scientific research, to advance the science of geology, to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct, still guides the Association today. AAPG provides publications, conferences, and educational opportunities to geoscientists and disseminates the most current geological information available to the general public.

About SEG
The Society of Exploration Geophysicists is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the science of applied geophysics and the education of geophysicists. SEG’s mission is connecting, inspiring, and propelling the people and science of geophysics. It provides its members with a variety of resources designed to further their success in the geophysics community.  For more information, visit www.seg.org.

Listen to what Mr. Hannity had to say about energy and North Dakota by viewing the clip here. Then, be sure to attend WBPC on May 22 to hear his thoughts first hand!

‘Energy Is Our Answer’: Hannity on ‘Get America Back to Work’ Campaign

Sean Hannity was on “America’s News Headquarters” today to discuss his “Get America Back to Work” campaign, where he teams up with companies in oil-rich states to get Americans employed.

A few years ago on his radio show, Hannity said that if he was unemployed, he would pack his bags and go to North Dakota, where he would beg an oil executive to hire him.

His message spread, months went by, and Hannity said he got about 20 calls from people who said they took his advice, moved to North Dakota, found jobs, paid off debt, bought houses and more.

That’s when Hannity and his team began to approach companies in North Dakota, Louisiana and Texas in order to get Americans back to work.

“Energy is our answer – it could literally transform the American economy […] it is the single greatest resource we have,” he said, stressing that he has been “blessed beyond measure” and that it kills him to see the middle class being held hostage.

“I identify with them because that’s where I came from,” he said of America’s middle class.

“People are suffering needlessly and government policies are literally an impediment to their life, their success, their opportunity to buy a nice house in a safe neighborhood, get a nice car, send their kids to a nice school. All of this is government getting in the way. I say bypass ‘em, they’re all a bunch of idiots,” he said.

 

Publisher’s preface: Every morning we’re inundated with sensationalized accounts of events that are presented as news when, in fact, these accounts are accusing diatribes built on finger-pointing and fact-omissions. We’re digesting our morning coffee along with emotionally charged rants created to serve the agendas of those who prepare them, rants that turn the front page into the editorial page.

Too often the target is the U.S. Oil & Gas Industry, the industry that’s worn a BULLSEYE on its back for the last few decades while, ironically, providing the country’s economy with one of the most important elements for growth: low-cost energy. However, since we at the Bakken Oil Business Journal know the U.S. Oil & Gas Industry is the industry that opens the door to increasing the prosperity of the US more than any other, I present you with something real, an account of some hard-working folks who are showing the world why the US is the greatest country in the world, why it is the land of the free and home of the brave.

By:  Marissa van der Valk

027Travis Cooksey is the Safety Coordinator for Continental Resources in North Dakota and Montana.  He performs safety inspections on workover rigs, drilling rigs and well sites.  His overall duties include finding ways to keep the men and women out of harms way in the Bakken oil patch.

How does a California surfer end up in the oil fields of North Dakota?  The simple answer could be that he drove there, but life’s journey wasn’t so simple.  It involved biotechnology, the US Navy, a pregnant wife, a fifth wheel and the love of family and country.

Travis Cooksey was born in Redondo Beach, California located in Los Angeles County, which is known for its white sandy beaches and spectacular surfing. Travis is the baby in a family of four boys. He spent his formative years in Camarillo, California, a suburb 45 miles north of Los Angeles. He was a state ranked 800 meter runner in high school and qualified for Nationals in his senior year.  After high school, Travis first jobs were as a pool cleaner and asbestos remover.

He was first introduced to surfing about 20 years ago through a neighbor turned best friend Leroy, who gave him a wetsuit and surfboard for his birthday. Travis describes this gift as the gift that kept on giving. He started surfing and fell in love with catching the next big wave.

Travis-US FlagIn 1990, Travis was hired to work at bio-technology company Amgen Inc located in Thousand Oaks, California.  For the next 13 years Travis worked as a lab technician in the human genomics laboratory. His coworkers describe Travis as being a hard worker with a penchant for telling hilarious stories. He was also described as being fiercely loyal to his family and his country. This is why at 34 years old Travis decided to join the US Navy.

Travis enlisted in the Navy in 2003 at the ripe old age of 34 just one year away from the cut off age.  And his decision to enlist was triggered by the tragic events on September 11, 2001.  He joined through the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program (DEP) which is a program designed to give the recruit some time to get their life in order before going to boot camp. Travis describes his time in boot camp as ‘not an easy time’.

The training instructors tended to be harder on recruits who were over thirty years old.  Travis describes himself as a highly dedicated loyal American with a heart full of patriotism so even though boot camp was difficult, no one was going to stop him from reaching his goal to succeed.

Travis went into the Navy as a reservist, but right after graduation from hospital corps school he received THE letter from President Bush putting him on full active duty status. He was first stationed at Great Lakes in Illinois and then was stationed in Port Hueneme, California. He also spent time at Camp Pendleton and ended his military career at Point Mugu.  He was attached to shore duty hospitals and squadrons with service to the special E.O.D. (explosive ordinance disposal) unit.

He received three NAM’s (Navy Achievement Medal) awards.  Travis had a tough time finding work in California, Oregon and Washington six months prior to being released from active duty.  And after 8 years in the US Navy Travis was faced with a decision, re-enlist for another tour of duty or go to work for the brother of his Navy Chief, who was hauling crude oil in Williston, North Dakota.

The US Navy’s loss was the Bakken’s gain when Travis decided to take the job in the booming oil patch of North Dakota. He was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer Second Class (PO2).

Driving in the snow - travisTravis is the father to four sons: Brandon 22, Braydon 12, Tayln 5, Pacey 2, and he and his wife Michelle are currently expecting their first daughter in July. He moved to Williston in October of 2011. He and Michelle, who was pregnant with Pacey at the time of making the move to North Dakota, loaded up their fifth wheel and took Talyn and their dog on the 1,600 mile drive to Williston.

Travis worked for Montana Mid-West Trucking, which is a sub-contractor for Plains Oil. Their first winter in North Dakota was a tough one; his wife, Tayln, Pacey (Brandon and Braydon live in California) and a dog lived in a 31 foot fifth wheel in the harsh winter of the Midwest. Travis was determined to get his family in a house before the next winter. After working for Montana Mid-West Trucking, he received a job working at Jacam Chemicals hauling chemicals. He worked for Jacam for a little over a year.

Travis was not able to get his family into a home at the start of their second winter in Williston.  He had a house built and with Michelle expecting their newly expected edition he could not have picked a better time.

When asked what he loves best about living in Williston and North Dakota Travis said: “I love the cold and the snow. I also love the people. It is one of the few places left with old school thinking and privileged rights of American freedom” for which he fought while serving his country.

rig-sunrise-travisTravis misses the life of a surfer and his family in California, but he has found a new home working and living in the Bakken of Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana.

Travis is one very proud American who still listens to the National Anthem before work every morning and Taps before bedtime each night.

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Travis Cooksey and Marissa van der Valk were co-workers at Amgen, a pharmaceutical company, at their Thousand Oaks, CA headquarters.  Travis worked in the same laboratory with Marissa in which she performed DNA sequencing experiments for the Human Genome Project.  Marissa now lives in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and is the daughter of Bob van der Valk , the Senior Editor of the Bakken Oil Business Journal.