Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a nationwide stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) new regulations on coal-fired power plants. This decision provides states like Montana – and over half of the states in our nation – relief from these overreaching and misguided regulations while they are being challenged in court.

These latest EPA regulations are part of the Obama administration’s relentless attacks on affordable energy and good-paying Montana jobs. The federal government’s misguided plan would lead our country in the wrong direction – away from being an energy leader—and would destroy thousands of good-paying Montana jobs.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I’m working to move forward commonsense policies that help secure an all-of-the-above energy solution and push back on job-killing regulations that threaten Montana’s energy future.

By promoting innovation and responsibly developing Montana’s vast resources, we can secure abundant energy that is clean, affordable and reliable.

The 2015 Economic Outlook recently published by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research showed how technology and innovation have already revolutionized the American energy industry to make made-in-America energy resources more accessible than ever.

Montana is ranked at the top in U.S. coal deposits, has rich oil and gas deposits including portions of the Bakken and Three Forks formations, has immense hydropower, solar and biomass potential, and is first in wind potential. Montana is truly an example of what an all-of-the-above energy plan can look like and is well-equipped for continued growth.

But despite this encouraging news – and even with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling to halt the Obama administration’s new regulations— Montana still faces challenges in reaching its full energy potential. We need to work toward comprehensive solutions that encourage innovation, grow our economy and revolutionize how we produce and distribute energy.

That’s why I’m hosting Montana Energy 2016 in Billings from March 29 to 31. Back for its third year, this comprehensive conference will focus on made-in-Montana energy and the good paying jobs it creates.

Montana holds a vital role in securing our nation’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and this conference comes at a vital time when our nation needs leadership. Montana Energy 2016 will bring together energy leaders to help increase innovation and move Montana’s energy opportunities to the next level.

Registration is open, with discounted rates for service members and students. Please visit www.MontanaEnergy.net to learn more and to register. Join me for Montana Energy 2016 so that we can work together to ensure that Montana remains an energy leader for years to come.

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19th Annual Dickinson API Gumbo Cookoff – hosted by Dickinson API Chapter
18 teams will square off for best gumbo. Prizes, raffles, live music, dancing and more!
When:          Saturday, February 20
11:00 a.m.   Teams start cooking; public is welcome to attend and watch;
6:30 p.m.     Gumbo tasting starts until gone
8:30 p.m.     Live Music and dance with EZ Street Band
Where:         Quality Inn & Suites, Dickinson, ND
More Info:    http://apidickinson.org/event/api-gumbo-cookoff/?instance_id=30

4th Annual Bakken BBQ
Industry teams join forces to BBQ for Make-a-Wish Foundation!
When:          June 17, 2016
Where:         West River Ice Rink
More Info:   https://www.facebook.com/BBQ4Cause/?fref=ts

North Dakota Oil Can! Teacher Seminar
Teachers are invited to attend a seminar to learn the ins and outs of the oil industry, tour a well site and other facilities, and take lesson plans back to their classrooms all while earning continuing educatoin credits.
When:         June 20-23, 2016
Where:        Bismarck, ND
More info:  The seminar is limited to just 50 teachers, but there are still spots available. Learn more and apply at http://www.ndoil.org/events/teacher_education/.

BOPSS_BOBJWebBannerAd

The Williston Basin Chapter of the American Petroleum Institute (Williston API) has established endowed scholarships at Montana Tech of the University of Montana and the University of North Dakota.

The Williston API is a nonprofit organization comprised of service oriented individuals who serve the local oil and gas industry, as well as the surrounding community. Our members are dedicated to providing a forum for the discussion of energy related issues and promoting improvement of the energy industry through education and community action.

Williston API members are committed to develop and adhere to the highest level industry standards, protect the environment, and lead in health and safety performance. The Williston API raises funds for scholarships, promotes education, and makes an impact in the community where we live and work.

In 2008, the organization established the Williston API Scholarship program at Montana Tech offering two $2,000 scholarships annually to support one junior and one senior in the Petroleum Engineering Program. The scholarships are part of a continued effort to meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce in the growing oil and gas industry in the Williston Basin.

The University of North Dakota (UND) has recently established the Department of Petroleum Engineering and the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mines offering for the first time a petroleum engineering degree program.

The Education and Scholarship Committee presented a proposal to the board of directors and subsequently to the membership to establish a similar scholarship program at UND as the one at Montana Tech. Ultimately the decision was made to establish the Williston API Endowed Scholarship at UND and fund two $2,000 scholarships to be awarded annually for Petroleum Engineering. Additionally, the chapter also established the Williston API Endowment to fund the scholarships at Montana Tech.

“The education and scholarship committee and our board of directors presented the endowment proposal to our members and they voted with great enthusiasm to establish these endowed scholarships,” commented Ken Callahan, president of the Williston API Board of Directors. “The endowments will enable these scholarships to be funded in perpetuity and our members see this as an investment in our future and a legacy of our chapter.”

“This was a record year for Montana Tech with 405 students enrolled in Petroleum Engineering,” explained Luke Meyer with the Montana Tech Foundation. “We are truly pleased to see the Williston API strengthen their commitment to the program by now creating an endowment for their scholarships that were established in 2008.”

“This represents the very first endowed scholarship for our relatively young Petroleum Engineering program which now has over 200 students in its fourth year in existence,” stated Dan Muus, Chief Development Officer, UND Alumni Association & Foundation. “We are excited to have this ongoing support for our students from the Williston Basin API chapter. UND students graduating with degrees from the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering and the Petroleum Engineering department today, will be leaders within the industry for decades to come.”

Contribution Challenge
The endowments have been initially funded with $25,000 to each institution and will only partially fund the annual scholarships. The Williston API will continue to fund the balance of the scholarships until the endowments are fully funded, approximately $50,000 each. The chapter plans to make future contributions as finances allow and as approved by the membership.

The Williston API education and scholarship committee along with the board of directors would like to challenge and encourage its members and their companies to join in the effort to support the future of our industry by making additional contributions to the endowments. Contributions may be made to either or both endowments by contacting the foundations directly. More information is available at the chapter website at www.WillistonAPI.com.

Brent Eslinger, Sr. District Manager for Halliburton and past president of the Williston API added “This is an outstanding achievement for the Williston API Chapter and its members. It is an opportunity for our industry and our chapter members to give back to our community and prepare our youth for success.” He added “This next step of an endowed scholarship will become a standing legacy for the API chapter.”

“I am proud of our organization and the commitment our members have made to this effort,” stated Kathleen Neset, president of Neset Consulting, past board member of the Williston API, and member of the Education and Scholarship Committee. “I for one would like to encourage other companies to support this initiative and I look forward to fully funding these endowments in the near future.”

Companies and individuals interested in contributing to either or both of the endowments can find more information on the chapter website at www.WillistonAPI.com.

Contact
Williston Basin Chapter API
Ken Callahan, President
701-770-5030
Ken.Callahan@mdu.com

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 orwww.ndhousingincentivefund.org.

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

 

The University of North Dakota today announced $14 million in private and public partnership funding that will greatly enhance UND’s efforts in petroleum geology and related fields. The announcement also included the naming of the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the UND College of Engineering and Mines.

The total project of $14,000,000 includes $10,000,000 provided as a gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc., which will create the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering. Another $4,000,000 from the Industrial Commission/Oil and Gas Research Program will fund the proposal entitled “Public-Private Partnership to Support Geology and Geological Engineering Education and Research at UND’s College of Engineering and Mines.”

“With the discovery of the world’s largest oil field in more than 40 years, Continental Resources and North Dakota are changing the world,” said Harold Hamm. “The Bakken Play is one of the primary fields making North American energy independence a reality, releasing us from the grip of foreign oil and serving as a model for unconventional oil production worldwide. Establishing the School of Geology and Geological Engineering is a vital commitment to continuing North Dakota’s national and global leadership in energy.”

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said, “We’re proud to be partnering with Harold Hamm and Continental Resources to provide funding through a private-public partnership for this major expansion of UND’s geology program. This is a perfect example of what can be done at our research institutions to enhance educational and employment opportunities for our state.”

UND President Robert Kelley said, “This is an exceptional day for the University of North Dakota. We are delighted to announce the naming of our School of Geology and Geological Engineering for Mr. Harold Hamm in honor of this very generous gift from Mr. Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc. This is the largest-ever gift to UND from someone who is not an alumnus of the University, and adds a significant dimension to North Dakota Spirit — The Campaign for UND.

“I also want to thank the North Dakota Industrial Commission for their very important portion of the private-public partnership,” said Kelley. “This is a perfect model of private dollars and public resources working together for maximum benefit. The combined funding will enhance the education of future petroleum geologists and engineers, which is key to the ongoing development of the Williston Basin and the nation’s petroleum resources.”

Said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the UND College of Engineering and Mines, “As an essential part of the UND College of Engineering and Mines, the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering will highlight the importance of geology and geological engineering in the state, not only in terms of North Dakota’s financial well-being, but also in terms of employment within the state. The School will help attract high quality faculty members and the best and brightest students to North Dakota.”

“Our goal is to produce future generations of petroleum geologists and engineers who can contribute to building a better world through professional service and research for safe, reliable, and affordable energy production,” El-Rewini added. “We also aim to increase the research efforts currently conducted by faculty members and students in petroleum related fields, which will create new opportunities for collaboration with industry in North Dakota and elsewhere.”

“This generous funding will give students at the University of North Dakota access to technology and resources that will better prepare them for engineering and energy-related jobs here in North Dakota and around the world,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, a member of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. “It is our hope that this is only the beginning of what we can do, partnering with industry, to educate our future workforce.”

“We already have one of the best core libraries in the United States housed at the Wilson M. Laird Core Library on the UND campus. These dollars will help us leverage the information in that facility and improve the opportunities for students and others to better understand the geology of North Dakota’s natural resources,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, a member of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

Gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources Inc.

The $10 million private gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc. will be made available over the next four years, and the endowment portion will continue to return funding on an ongoing basis. Designed to enhance education and research at the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering, the gift will have an impact on the entire College of Engineering and Mines for many years.

The gift has been designated as follows:

$3,750,000 – Endowed Professor of Petroleum Geology
$3,750,000 – Endowed Professor of Petroleum Engineering
$675,000 – Salary and benefits for the two Endowed Professor positions
$1,325,000 – Endowed Leadership Scholarships
$500,000 – Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library

Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Program Funding

The $4 million funding from the Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Research Program will be used as follows:

$1,500,000 – Equipment to establish Advanced Laboratories
$1,500,000 – Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library
$720,000 – Student scholarships and graduate assistantships
$280,000 – Students experience fund

–30–

Office of University Relations
Twamley Hall, Room 409
264 Centennial Drive, Stop 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144
Phone  701.777.2731
Fax  701.777.4616
UND.edu

“Wildly overblown fears expressed in anti-hydraulic fracturing letters.” (2012-7-30). The Livingston Enterprise. Section: . Retrieved 2012-8-6.

Editor,

Two recent letters to The Enterprise have called for either a ban on hydraulic fracturing near National Parks (Dee Fleming, 7/18/12) or a ban in Montana and essentially nationwide (Heidi Strohmyer, 7/24/12).

I think the letter writers have wildly overblown fears of this essential technology for the production of oil and gas. With over one million wells fractured in the past 60 years and tens of thousand more being fractured each year, you would think that widespread environmental damage would be readily apparent based on the remarks in the letters. The truth is quite different. There are no confirmed reports of any damage at all. The gas in water wells alluded to by Ms. Strohmyer is a natural phenomenon as has been demonstrated by state regulatory agencies and predrill testing. The movie “Gasland” preferred to omit this fact in order to make their case against fracturing more compelling.

Comments are made in both letters about the dangers of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. One letter mentions benzene, which is not used at all. The other alleges that carcinogens and other nasty things are used but none are identified. I encourage both authors to look at fracfocus.org to see what chemicals are really used. The number of these chemicals is certainly not 596 (toxic or not), as Ms. Fleming alleges. Whoever came up with that number must have added up all the products offered by all the fracturing companies without acknowledging that every company has essentially the same set of chemicals in their product line. For example, common table salt would then get counted 25 to 30 times. The website lists about 30 or so chemicals that are actually used in hydraulic fracturing. From the website, you can access the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on each chemical and see what health and safety issues might arise with the use of that chemical. An MSDS on every chemical used must be on location whenever a well is fractured. The authors could also learn something about the fracturing process itself from this website and the myriad of state regulations that are in place to ensure it is carried out safely in an environmentally sound way. Included in the regulations for Montana is the requirement to disclose the chemicals used in the frac fluid, and this includes the water and the sand, which together comprise about 99.5 percent of the system.

Ms. Strohmyer must think wells are brought on production by letting them blow like a gusher. There are no large releases of gases and liquids as she suggests, and the produced fluids are contained. Air quality monitors in areas such as Ft. Worth, Texas, and Pennsylvania, where hydraulic fracturing is occurring on a wide scale, show no elevated levels of any chemicals of concern. Those working everyday at fracturing locations are not getting sick and in fact have lower levels of time off for illness than what most industries experience.

There are no confirmed reports of groundwater contamination arising from hydraulic fracturing. Ms. Fleming states that the “dead zone” at Pavillion, Wyo., has been attributed to fracturing. This definitely is not so. If she read the preliminary EPA report on the tests conducted there, she would find no evidence of drinking water contamination via fracturing. The EPA found a trace of a chemical often used in frac fluids in one of eight samples taken from two deep test wells at Pavillion, one at 783 feet and the other at 981 feet. Interestingly enough, the same chemical, also used in cleaning supplies, was found in several laboratory water samples. The EPA test wells were drilled to just above the gas sand that is being produced in the Pavillion field. The production wells, all vertical, are only 1,000 to 1,500 feet deep. No frac fluid chemicals were found in the many water wells (typically 300 feet deep) that have been sampled by the EPA.

Pavillion, with its shallow vertical wells, is not a good example of wells that are drilled horizontally and fractured in shale formations many thousands of feet deep. There is no way that a fracture could propagate through thousands of feet of solid rock to a freshwater aquifer located a few hundred feet below ground level. Fractures are more likely to be less than a hundred feet in length. There is plenty of evidence to back this up.

A nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing would have consequences. You could say goodbye to the Bakken, the Marcellus and to all other shale development. You could also say goodbye to natural gas produced in this country. About 90 percent of natural gas wells and the majority of onshore oil wells would not be drilled at all. Natural gas is used in this country to generate electricity (25 percent last year to coal’s 42 percent), to heat homes, to cook, and for various industrial enterprises. Natural gas exceeded coal as the nation’s primary source of energy in 2011. A frac ban would lead to dramatically increased use of coal for electricity and jeopardize the availability of natural gas for domestic and industrial use. Renewable energy development would also be hindered because gas-fired power plants are needed to back up solar and wind when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. If Ms. Strohmyer gets her way, I hope she is around to take the credit when everyone’s gas and electric bills skyrocket.

Ron Clark
Livingston

manufacturing; architecture and construction; health science; law, public safety, corrections, and security; and transportation, distribution, and logistics. United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) in Bismarck, N.D., has received an $18.9 million grant to lead a group of tribal colleges in building career development programs that meet local and regional employers’ needs for highly skilled workers. The grant was awarded through the inaugural round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program, an initiative by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to support career development partnerships and programs at community and technical colleges. In its initial round, the program awarded a total of nearly $500 million to 32 institutions. UTTC was the only tribal college among the grant recipients.

The grant to UTTC will fund a three-year initiative called Tribal College Consortium for Developing Montana and North Dakota Workforce, or TCC DeMaND, that is designed to build degree programs that align with the workforce needs of local and regional employers, particularly employers in the region’s booming oil industry. UTTC, in partnership with three other tribal colleges in North Dakota and Eastern Montana—Aaniih Nakoda College in Harlem, Mont.; Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, N.D.; and Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, Mont.—will create or enhance degree or certification programs in five targeted industries: manufacturing; architecture and construction; health science; law, public safety, corrections, and security; and transportation, distribution, and logistics. Specific new degree programs the colleges plan to create include welding, certified nurse assistant, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and hazardous materials and hazardous waste operations.

SOURCE (2012-4-12) Retrieved 2012-4-24.
SOURCE (2012-4-1) Retrieved 2012-4-24.

To be eligible for the award, students must:

  1. be undergraduates majoring in geology, earth science, geological engineering, petroleum engineering, or energy economics and finance at a North Dakota college/university, or have work/internship experience in the oil and gas industry;
  2. have a GPA of 3.0 or higher; and
  3. have completed at least 12 hours in geology, earth science, or geological engineering.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must submit the following:

  1. college transcripts,
  2. a one-page essay on career plans in their chosen major, and
  3. a letter of reference reflecting on the student’s general character, work ethic, etc. from a college professor.

Questions? Call 701-223-6380 or e-mail ndpc@ndoil.org.

Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2012, and sent to:

NDPC Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 1395
Bismarck, ND 58502
or via e-mail to: ndpc@ndoil.org

The scholarship fund was established in 2008 to support students who are pursuing post-secondary education in geology, engineering, processing plant technology, science, technical skills or other careers related to the oil and gas industry. The scholarships are part of the oil and gas industry’s efforts to help solve growing workforce demands in North Dakota.