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/.


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.


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.

By: Chris Sutton
Picture taken by Kyle Jerome. Derrickhand with Sun Well Service in North Dakota

BOBJ - Picture of oil derricks in the Bakken 12-10-13

The nature of the energy industry can bring frequent changes resulting in professionals reentering the work seeking world.  Some of these changes are beneficial for oil and gas companies.  For example, acquisitions and divestitures (A&D’s) are a part of the asset allocation strategy for oil and gas companies and are constantly evaluated on both a short and long-term basis.

Operators look for assets where geological knowledge of formations is available, and where technical expertise in specific plays can be leveraged for higher margin recovery. Companies divest assets to raise funding for existing asset development or to acquire new assets more closely aligned with long-term strategic goals.

In a survey conducted by Ernst & Young, when Oil & Gas companies were asked to disclose the main causes for an acquisition, the majority of the respondents listed their top two reasons were to gain shares in existing markets and gain shares in new markets.

BOBJ - Ernst and Young Survey Graph 12-10-13

Although A&D’s are typically beneficial, they can still impact the workforce on either side of the transaction.  Other workforce changes are less beneficial – but still somewhat common in the volatile oil industry.  For example, if an exploration and production company loses a major project, they will likely have to downsize their workforce by laying off the contractors hired for that project.

Of course, downsizing also occurs for other reasons, such as shifting resources internally and changing company goals.  Following are some common scenarios for professionals during company changes, as well as tips for preparing to reenter the workforce.

What do workforce changes mean for oil and gas professionals?

When a company divests an asset, several things can happen to a professional’s job position.  Often, the professional will be asked to move with the assets to the acquiring company.  Moving to the new company sometimes means relocating, so some professionals will turn down the offer and start by searching for a new job in their area.  The divesting company usually encourages current employees to go to the new company if they have the option, because they will be laid off if they stay.  Higher-level employees may have the option to accept a retirement package instead of relocating.

In other situations, some professionals might be told the asset is being sold and they’re not being offered a new position at the acquiring company.  These professionals are often laid off because they are no longer being used on a project.  This scenario is similar to E&P companies losing a major project –some contractors may be asked to join another project or assignment, but usually there isn’t enough work available to avoid downsizing.

What should oil and gas professionals do?

Because the scenarios above are commonplace in the oil and gas industry, professionals in this field should always be ready with a plan of action.  Luckily, in the case of A&D’s, professionals are usually given several months of notice before a company divests the asset  at which they work and they will know shortly afterwards whether or not they will get an offer from the acquiring company.

Unfortunately, many people don’t start looking for a job until after transitioning out of their role.  And in the case of Exploration & Production (E&P) oil companies losing a project, or other downsizing scenarios, professionals may even have less time to ready for a change in employment.  This causes laid off and retired employees to enter the job searching market at once including those who do not accept an offer from the acquiring company as well as professionals from the acquiring company who quit.  Competition for jobs will be fierce and offered pay may be lower.  Our first tip is to begin looking for a job as soon as you know you’ll need one.

Our second tip is to check location.  Location can be a deal breaker for professionals who are offered a position at the acquiring company.  If you get an offer from the acquiring company, find out if they require relocation.  Do some research into the area and decide early whether or not you are willing to move and find affordable housing.

Thirdly, professionals with a lot of experience should consider taking the exit offer and reentering the workforce as a highly compensated, knowledge-based consultant.  Taking a retirement offer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your career.

Lastly, it’s important to continuously network with industry professionals and get to know about projects in your area. This way you will be able to forge meaningful relationships with contacts that can get you in front of hiring managers.  Information gained from networking can lead to an easier job transition during a company downsizing or similar situations.

Preparation makes for an easier transition.

Workforce changes are inevitable in the oil and gas industry, and most professionals who work on oil production will switch companies at least once during their career.  Preparing for this transition can make finding a new job easier and might even result in a higher paycheck.  You can prepare for any possible layoff by learning about companies involved in deals affecting you and by networking with industry professionals, who may be willing to help you quickly transition to a new project.

Good luck and good hunting.

Chris Sutton is a Partner at Clover Global Solutions, LP.  He can be contacted at: Chris.S@clovergs.com



Written by Janelle Holden

In December 2012, 5.19 Sales & Marketing connected communities in Eastern Montana with business leaders looking to launch a first-of-its-kind housing project for oil and gas workers in the Bakken region.

With the guidance of the Eastern Montana Impact Coalition (EMIC) and the commitment of IAP Worldwide Services (IAP), the Eagles Landing Housing Community Project was born.

WP_20130728_002-wJust nine months later Sidney, Montana is now home to phase one of Eagles Landing, a state-of-the-art housing facility that includes 339 beds, private rooms, chef-prepared meals, free daily breakfast, a commercial grade laundry facility, housekeeping services, fitness center, 24-hour security and ample parking.

In this interview, Troy Selland of 5.19 Sales & Marketing shares lessons learned from the project and the secret to creating successful business ventures in the Bakken region.

Janelle: “So Troy, how did this project get started?”
Last December, I flew into Wolf Point, Montana with senior leaders from IAP to meet with EMIC executives. With over 60 years of expertise in remote site operations, IAP was looking for a community in the Bakken region in which to build and operate a multi-million dollar workforce housing community.

We toured six sites across Montana and North Dakota. All of them were potentially a good fit for a large-scale project, but the company was impressed by the opportunities that existed in Montana and how the EMIC represented the region.

Janelle: “Who is IAP Worldwide Services and why were they interested in building?”
IAP specializes in providing temporary housing solutions in remote locations around the world. It’s a company that has the capability to build specialized housing solutions in virtually any environment around the world. In the past, they have worked primarily with government agencies and were looking to expand into the private sector.

Janelle: “I’ve heard that Montana has had trouble in the past winning contracts like these. Is that true and if so, what made the difference here?
Montana has historically lost out on similar opportunities to other oil states such as North Dakota and Texas and the field was open to IAP to build anywhere in the world.

In early 2012, EMIC formed to address community challenges in the Bakken region and they welcomed IAP into the community. The coalition wanted to help solve a regional housing shortage that was persistent, challenging and frustrating.

When they met, the coalition members spoke with one clear voice about their visions, challenges and hopes for a region that is roughly the size of the state of New York.  This made the difference with IAP as it was clear that an opportunity truly did exist for them in Montana.

Janelle: This project was built in record time and it seems like everyone in the community has been happy with the result. How did that happen?
Good communication and great partners. The coalition worked with the company to ensure that every phase of design, planning and construction would address and resolve the community’s concerns and fit with Montana culture.

As a result, Eagles Landing has become home to more than just oil and gas industry personnel. Current and future residents include county employees, policemen, electricians, and even families.

Janelle: What have you learned about doing business from this project?
When I look at the history of this project, I’m proud of Montana for finding a creative way to work with businesses and solve community challenges in the Bakken. The real secret to the success of the project was combining the visionaries of IAP with the local members of the EMIC. Including community input via the coalition and building local support is the secret for businesses looking for long-term success in Montana’s Bakken region.

Troy-Selland_5.19Sales&Marketing-cropTroy Selland is the Founder of 5.19 Sales & Marketing, based in Livingston, Montana. He has over fifteen years of leadership and consulting experience in the commercial airline, ground logistics, and oil and gas sectors. 5.19 Sales and Marketing helps firms of vision find their place, and ultimate success, in today’s unconventional energy industry.

For More Information: 5.19 Sales & Marketing: www.five-nineteen.com
Eagles Landing Project: www.iapeagleslanding.com
EMIC: www.gndc.org/EMIC%20page.htm


For Immediate Release
Contact: Jessica Sena, 590-8675

In response to Tom Power’s, “Drill, Baby, Drill”: The Ongoing Economic Fantasy

In light of a recent commentary by Tom Power (former Economics Professor at the University of Montana) it’s apparent that much education is needed on the issue of America’s energy revolution.

Bakken-sky-on-fire-2013Today, Americans are reaping the benefits of readily available, affordable energy. The United States has just been announced the number one energy producer in the world by Wall Street Journal. Last year, families saw energy savings of $1,200 per household thanks to technological advances in unconventional methods of extraction, according to a September IHS report. The Federal Government’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program spent $3.5 billion dollars on 9 million people last year to help pay energy bills, amounting to just under $400 per person. That being said, America’s private energy sector saved families three times more than taxpayer funded government subsidies.

Power points out that oil and gas production have increased three-fold in Montana since 1990. He fails to mention in 1990, production levels were tanking. Tax changes throughout the 90’s, including a production incentive passed by the legislature, stopped the decline & led to an increase in oil and gas production, especially via horizontal wells.

Improved horizontal drilling technology partnered with proven hydraulic fracturing released billions of barrels of oil and gas previously thought to be uneconomic to produce. The production increase led to surpluses of new tax revenues at the state and county levels.

In 1990, state and local tax revenues from oil and gas production totaled just over $30 million dollars for cash starved state and local governments, and schools. Almost twenty years later, in 2008, the total production tax revenue from oil and gas was more than $300 million, with over half that amount returning to the counties for school funding, infrastructure, and public programs. Since 2009, oil and gas production levels have remained relatively constant, providing more than $200 million dollars a year in production taxes alone to the state.

According to Power, Montana’s oil and gas industry “was directly responsible of about one-half of one percent of all jobs in the state” in 2011. As of 2012, Montana’s oil and gas activity actually accounted for roughly 3% of jobs in Montana, or almost 30,000 (direct & indirect jobs) according to economist Patrick Barkey of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Oil producing counties represent the state’s lowest areas of unemployment, according to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. The report from August of this year lists the following Eastern Montana counties at the top of the list; Fallon County, at 1.5%, Richland County comes in second at 2.2%, Sheridan County at 2.2%, McCone County at 2.3%, Carter County 2.3%, Garfield County 2.7%, Wibaux County 2.8%, and Custer Co. at 3%. Compare those numbers to the hardest hit areas; Sanders County at 10.2%, Lincoln County at 12.1% and Big Horn County with the highest unemployment at 14.3%.

Power criticizes the payroll associated with oil and gas jobs, and claims that, “Oil and gas development is not a likely candidate for substantial job creation.” Really?

On the contrary, the Montana Department of Labor classifies natural resource jobs, along with health care and business services, as one of the fastest growing industries in Montana, with a forecasted growth rate of 2.3% between 2014-2021. In terms of wages, Montana’s oil and gas industry paid an average of $56,581 per worker, 75% above the state average in 2012.

One of the most ludicrous statements in Power’s write up, is the assumption that “few people hold up that phenomenon [Eastern Montana oil boom] as an example of how most Montanans would like to live and raise their kids.”

The Montana Petroleum Association has spent the last year on the road and on the phone speaking with families who express the exact opposite sentiment. Many have claimed that without the oil activity, their families “wouldn’t have made it” through the recession. For some, it’s a family affair, with one or more family members working in the oil field; like Robin Schiele of Helena, and his 22 year old son who lives in Missoula, but works in the Bakken.

Before Robin, the family’s patriarch, was hired for a water trucking company in the Williston Basin, the Schiele family, including Robin’s wife and three children, worked 16 hour days caring for lawns just to pay the bills. The Schiele’s are one of many families who’ve said the Bakken opportunities are what saved their family.

As for those living closer to the bulk of the activity, the sentiment’s the same.

At the Montana Economic Development Association’s fall conference on October 3rd in Sidney, Richland County Commissioner Shane Gorder told attendees, “I want to make one thing very clear. I am excited about our economy. I am glad that our children can return home to work in our area. Growth is positive — bringing jobs and opportunities for our communities.”

Last week, Tracy Kessel, a wife and mother living in the oil patch wrote in to the Sidney Herald, “For those of you who are new to our community…Welcome, you couldn’t have picked a better community to be a part of or raise your children.”

After setting the stage to undermine how prolific the recent expansion in energy production has been, Power defends federal agencies, saying, “Whatever federal energy policy has done, it has not restrained energy production in the United States.” The reality is, though, the federal government and environmental agencies have done nothing to increase energy production either, though they love to take credit for the recent success of the private energy sector.

The federal government leases less than 6 percent of its onshore lands for oil and gas development. Under the Obama Administration, the rate of leasing has slowed by about half. According to the Energy Information Administration, in fiscal year 2011, production on federal lands dropped 13 percent from fiscal year 2010 levels, led by a drop in federal offshore production of 17 percent. The majority of oil production on federal lands (around 80 percent) is located in offshore waters. Furthermore, the rate of permitting has also declined by more than one-third.

These facts show that the trend during the current administration has been toward fewer leases and permits for oil and gas drilling and a longer processing time before approval, in contrast to state programs where permits can be obtained in less than a month.

Additionally, federal agencies like Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Bureau of Land Management, are proposing widespread conservation efforts throughout western states which will have a direct negative impact on current and future development.

In Montana, the BLM has released three resource management plans that call for millions of acres to be restricted from oil and gas leases along the Hi-line and in Eastern Montana. The lack of consideration for the economic impact these management plans would have on Montana’s workforce and budget is egregious. Though new management areas will require funding, BLM Director of Montana/Dakotas, Jamie Connell, says she doesn’t know where new money will come from (Sept. 26th TSRIA meeting, Big Sky).

The record is clear that the current administration under President Obama has been a poor steward of our national energy supplies and our economic security. Take the five year delay on the Keystone XL pipeline approval, for example, which is a project that would provide thousands of U.S. jobs, including ample work for labor unions.

Power’s efforts to downplay the economic contribution of oil and gas to state economies is laughable, but what’s worse, is that he completely misses the point of advocating for multiple use access to federal lands.

Our government is at a standstill because of a massive debt problem and the inability of Congress to agree on how to manage the budget. Last year alone, oil and gas production contributed $283 billion in GDP and $74 billion to state and federal revenues, including more than $200 million to Montana’s general fund (in production taxes alone).

A 5% increase in Montana drilling activity would create 366 more direct jobs, 1,025 indirect jobs, and over $20 million a year in additional state and federal revenue.

As the largest economic driver since the recession, the energy sector is poised to help the federal government alleviate the debt crisis; the opportunity to do so might be a “fantasy”…but the ability…that is a reality.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 1.40.16 PMThe Montana Petroleum Report provides information of interest to Montanans. We encourage you to forward this to your friends. — Dave Galt, Executive Director  www.montanapetroleum.org


U.S. OIL BOOM podcast Interview of  Bob van der Valk, Senior Editor of the Bakken Oil Business Journal, by Brandon DeShaw, PE, Lab Director, Global Energy Laboratories

I recently chatted with a man that I’ll refer to as the “Yoda” of the U.S. Oil boom.
You remember Yoda from the Star Wars movies, right?
  • Spoke in riddles…
  • Elderly and ancient…
  • Hidden humor…
  • Extremely wise…
  • Um, well my guy didn’t really speak in riddles.
But he was very wise and had some fantastic insight into the current shale oil boom going on here in the U.S.

This guy is also a highly paid consultant and gives guidance on where fuel prices are headed.

He is the editor and chief guru for the Bakken Oil Business Journal.

His name is Bob van der Valk, and you can actually listen to all his guidance and the interview that I did.
Yes, I finally have published my first podcast episode, and I’m giving you backstage access before I post it on my website.

I interviewed Bob on topics like the next big oil play (hint: it’s in California of all places). We also talked about how to work your way into the oil business.

He talked about where fuel prices are headed in late 2013, and many other topics that will be interesting to you.

Here is the link to the interview:
If you go there, you can click on the title and the podcast should autoplay. Or you can hit the download link on that page.

Oh yeah, by the way it’s complimentary. I don’t even sell anything (yet) on the podcast.
It should also be listed on iTunes soon, if you want to go there and search for “oil boom” podcast.

Anyway, this interview was a real gem, and I wanted you to get first “dibs” on it.

Thank you,
Brandon DeShaw, PE
Lab Director
Global Energy Laboratories
200 Technology Way
Butte, MT

Every year the popularity of online video is increasing, doesn’t matter the platform (tablet, smartphone, smart TV, or computer) or the length (while short videos are still most popular, there is a huge potential for long form video) by all measures, popularity heading straight up with no indication of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the popularity of online video increasing so much that there are more advertisers who want to place ads in videos than there are videos to place the ads on. If you’re not planning on using video yet this year, here are 6 reasons why you will (or should) use video in 2013:

“User Curated Content Networks” Love Video

You can read “user curated content networks” as Pinterest right now, but Pinterest is just the first network of its kind, not the last. Pinterest users are adding more than just photos to their boards now and video is right up there with photos now in popularity. Now that brands and companies can have their own Pinterest accounts and boards (officially), using video to not only profile your company but to show off products, how tos, and demos is a great way to leverage user curated social sharing. Keep in mind, sites like Pinterest often let users cross-post to Facebook, so when your content is pinned on one network, it often jumps to other networks as well.


According to Marketing Profs, Google and YouTube aren’t just favoring sites that have video, but also sites and publishers who have videos that are watched more and watched longer:

Google and YouTube are always changing their search algorithms for video (and for everything else), seeking the best ways to present information that searchers will find relevant. In October, YouTube announced that it would rank videos based on “watch time,” giving prominence to videos that are watched for a longer stretch of time than those viewed for a few seconds.
-Via Marketing Profs

Creating a video that people watch all the way to the end can be tricky, but videos in the 3–5 minute range are the most watched videos and videos between 30–60 seconds have the best completion rates (watching the entire video).

More Than Just YouTube: Newsletters and Other Material

Vimeo and YouTube are the two leading sites for publishing your videos and both have excellent options for embedding your videos in places other than just your website. How about a video intro in your next e-newslettter? Providers like MailChimp make embedding videos as easy as copy and paste. Not a bad way to engage newsletter subscribers right off the bat.

eCommerce: Videos Help Sell More Stuff

Telling people about something is one thing. Showing them a picture is another. Showing a video of something is class of its own. Having video as part of your ecommerce strategy has shown to increase sales over 90% compared to not having video.

Product Videos Are Engaging and Sharable

When you see a product demonstrated in a video it makes more of an impact than if you just show a picture alone. Tied in with Pinterest-like sites and ecommerce, using video to show your product or service can have a tremendous impact on customers and clients. Don’t relegate “products” to just physical items either, think about a short video profiling your business as a “product video” as well. Engage and connect with people by telling them more than what words and pictures alone can say.

Mobile Video is Exploding

As mobile networks are getting faster and devices are getting more powerful, people are watching more and more video on their mobile devices. Almost 60% of all mobile data traffic in 2012 was for video and mobile comprised 13% of all Internet traffic last year…and it’s still growing. The amount of video consumed on “non-PC devices” grew 6 times from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.

Bonus: It’s More Affordable

Maybe the biggest reason you’ll start using video this year is that it’s more affordable than ever. Don’t relegate having a video to the “nice to have” list, put it at the top of the “need to have” list in your marketing plans. Learn more about SoMedia’s ScalableVideo and VideoBuilder services and how they can help you use video in all the ways above, and save you money too.

Photo from Flickr by jsawkins.

What Opportunity Looks Like: Big Mountain meets the Bakken

“The Bakken has definitely been a huge help and a huge source of revenue to us.”

For many Montanans the Bakken boom has provided a plethora of opportunities. For the Gearhart family of Whitefish, the growth in the oil patch has meant growth in their family-owned business, Big Mountain Glass (BMG).

The company, owned by Chris and Kathy Gearheart, has been in Montana for 41 years and has provided commercial glazing on projects such as the Metra in Billings, the new UM Native American Studies Center in Missoula, the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, and the Whitefish Emergency Service Center, to name a few. BMG has twelve full time employees, including son and MSU graduate Scott Gearhart. Scott’s the Commercial Project Manager for the company. Scott’s wife is a full time nurse, and works part time at Big Mountain Glass as well. They also have a seven year old daughter.

With a degree in Construction and Engineering Technology from Bozeman, Scott explained that working for the family business was always part of the plan, saying that it only took a few years of working outside of Montana to realize it was where he wanted to return to work and raise his family.

Before the downturn in the local economy, says Scott, Big Mountain had twenty one full time employees. With the recent resurgence of job opportunities in North Dakota and Eastern Montana, however, he said, “The Bakken has definitely been a huge help and a huge source of revenue to us.”

The first Bakken project for Big Mountain Glass started three years ago. The Gearharts’ business has done everything from small glass instillation projects for schools, strip malls, and NAPA stores in Watford City and around Williston, to a couple of large scale projects in Dickinson and Bismarck.

“We were actually sought out to bid the penitentiary expansion job in Bismarck,” said Scott. Big Mountain not only bid the job, they won it. “This is a major project of over a million dollars in glass,” said Scott. Some of the other large scale projects they’ve worked on include housing complexes for Halliburton. Big Mountain is also waiting to hear back on a medical clinic job they bid recently in Dickinson.

Scott explains that compared to Montana, there is such a shortage of contractors bidding jobs in North Dakota that there’s almost no competition. New contractors are moving into North Dakota with no subcontractor base. The growth is outpacing the workforce, creating job opportunities for contractors, truckers, builders, skilled laborers, small businesses, and many others far beyond North Dakota.

Estimating revenue from the Bakken alone, Scott says oil patch projects account for 15% of his family’s business. Luckily for Scott, he only has to leave the Flathead about once every four months to check on jobs in North Dakota to make sure things are running smoothly. For Scott’s younger brother Tyler, however, the story is quite different.

Tyler Gearhart, like his brother, graduated from MSU in Bozeman where he lives today. He received his degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and now works as a MWD Field Technician for The Directional Drilling Company. He was recommended for the position by his uncle, who Tyler says has worked in the oil fields for the better part of two decades. Tyler’s main responsibilities include assembling tools for down hole monitoring, setting up surface gear, and taking surveys. Like most true blue Montanans, the Gearhart brothers spend their free time outdoors fishing and skiing (pictured above).
“It was always a goal of mine to stay in Montana after college,” said Tyler, who describes the worse part of his job as the long periods away from home. He says the best thing about his job is the people.

“Don’t make assumptions about what goes on in the oilfields,” said Tyler, “Come out and experience things before you jump to conclusions.”

Retrieved 27 February 2013. The Montana Petroleum Report. For more information contact: Jessica Sena, 590-8675

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

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.