Thursday, January 25, 2018 – 8:30am

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum welcomed news today that Hess Midstream Partners and Targa Resources will build a $150 million gas processing plant near Watford City, as North Dakota produces record volumes of natural gas and approaches record high oil production.

The Little Missouri Four gas plant will process 200 million cubic feet of gas per day at Targa’s existing Little Missouri facility in McKenzie County, Hess announced. Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Natural gas production in North Dakota reached a record of nearly 2.1 billion cubic feet per day in November 2017, while daily oil production hit 1.19 million barrels per day, approaching the record high of 1.23 million barrels per day set in December 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hess’ significant investment, which underscores the company’s longstanding presence in North Dakota and commitment to our state,” Burgum said. “This processing plant will provide much-needed capacity at a time when North Dakota’s oil production nears record levels and associated natural gas production continues to climb. It’s a huge step in the right direction toward continuing to meet our flaring reduction goals and encouraging responsible energy development and infrastructure investment.”

In addition to the anticipated $150 million in constructions costs for the gas plant, Hess Midstream and Hess Infrastructure Partners LP will invest approximately $100 million for new pipeline infrastructure to gather gas for Little Missouri Four, Hess said.

During his State of the State Address on Tuesday, Burgum said work is needed at the state and federal levels – including streamlining the burdensome process for siting pipelines on federal and tribal lands – to capture the increasing volume of natural gas as oil production grows.

“Bakken gas production has grown at a rate twice as fast as oil production in the last four years,” Burgum said. “Additional private-sector capital investment for gas capture and value-added processing is exactly what we need to simultaneously grow our economy and protect our environment.”

SOURCE: https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/burgum-welcomes-hess-and-targa%E2%80%99s-investment-150m-gas-processing-plant-efforts-reduce-flaring

 

Williston API Achievement Awards
The Williston API Achievement Awards celebrate the many positive contributions and accomplishments of the oil and gas industry throughout the Williston Basin. The three awards to be presented include Industry Innovation, Community Service and Outstanding Achievement. Winners will be presented with their award during the sixth Annual Williston Petroleum Banquet.

Industry Innovation Award
The Industry Innovation Award recognizes significant achievement for advancements in technology, systems, processes and the application thereof in the oil and gas industry in the Williston Basin.

Finalists are:

• TorcSill
• ETI
• FlowCore Systems

Community Service Award
The Community Service Award seeks to recognize individuals and organizations for their commitment to their community and contributions to community service. Nominee’s contributions of time and resources bolster community pride, enable local non-profit’s to meet their missions, strengthen our community boards of directors, and help solve community challenges.

Finalists are:

• S&B Drilling
• W.W. Grainger
• Triangle Electric

Outstanding Achievement
The Outstanding Achievement Award identifies individuals and organizations deserving of recognition for an activity or accomplishment that can be described as an outstanding achievement in the Williston Basin. It may include an individual or company that has made a significant impact over a long period of time or it may include a single event that fundamentally changes the way something is done.

Group finalists are:

• Secure Energy Services
• Energy Transfer Partners
• EnerPlus

Individual finalists are:

• Jon McCreary
• Randy Waitman
• Bob Reynolds

Williston Petroleum Banquet
The Williston Petroleum Banquet celebrates the energy industry in the Williston Basin and all of the positive accomplishments. Industry participants and community leaders will gather to enjoy fine dining, networking and entertainment. The evening will include a program featuring award presentations and a special keynote address by Congressman Kevin Cramer.

Williston Petroleum Banquet and Achievement Awards
November 17, 2017 at the Grand Williston Hotel & Conference Center

6:00 p.m. – Social
7:00 p.m. – Dinner
8:00 p.m. – Program
– Year in Review
– Achievement Awards
– Keynote Address

Williston API
The Williston Basin Chapter of the American Petroleum Institute (API) is a nonprofit organization comprised of service oriented individuals who serve the local oil and gas industry, as well as the surrounding community. More information about the Williston API is available at www.WillistonAPI.com.

Questions and comments may be directed to: info@willistonapi.com or 701-770-5030.

BISMARCK, N.D. – Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited the Bakken yesterday and had the opportunity to tour an oil rig near Williston, N.D. During the two hour tour, Zuckerberg visited with oil and gas employees and learned about the industry’s advancements in technology, safety and opportunity.

“It was a tremendous opportunity and a lot of fun to provide a Bakken drilling rig tour for Mark Zuckerberg as part of his visit America tour,” said Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “He had more questions than we had time in our two hours at the rig, and he took the time to meet and visit with many of the employees and learn about their jobs and experiences in North Dakota.”

The tour was organized by the North Dakota Petroleum Council with help from Statoil, Nabors Drilling and Neset Consulting Service as part of Zuckerberg’s plan to visit all 50 states. During the tour, Zuckerberg had a candid conversation with rig crew members about working in the industry, how the industry in North Dakota has afforded them opportunity they could not find at home, as well as how safety has grown tremendously along with technological advancement to enhance rather than replace their jobs.

“Regardless of your views on energy, I think you’ll find the community around this fascinating,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post early Wednesday morning. “Many people I talked to here acknowledged (climate change), but also feel a sense of pride that their work contributes to serving real needs we all have every day – keeping our homes warm, getting to work, feeding us and more.”

“This was an amazing opportunity to share information with a technology leader,” said Ness. “He now had a much broader grasp of our industry.”

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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, Communications Manager  |  ND Petroleum Council
701.223.6380, tsandstrom@ndoil.org

What is “Combustion Efficiency?”
By: Casey Beeler, Vice President, IES, LLC.

In terms of oil field combustion equipment, combustion efficiency can mean a variety of things. In the world of natural draft combustors, the term usually refers to how “efficiently” the combustion device removes a target compound in a waste gas feed. Those target compounds, typically hydrocarbons, can range from low BTU (BTU/ft3), predominantly methane mixtures, to high, 3500 BTU or greater gas containing rich mixes of methane through C6+’s (Hexanes and larger hydrocarbons). The seemingly simple and often overlooked waste gas combustor is a workhorse in the field, required to meet the most complex and strictest regulated specifications.

“Remove” is really a misnomer. In 100% efficient combustion reaction (typically known as: Ideal, Theoretic, or Stoichiometric Combustion), the combustor should convert all of target contaminant hydrocarbon, say, methane (CH4) into Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Water (H2O) and Nitrogen gas (N2) plus heat – nothing else, nothing more.

This works very well in the theoretic world, but as any experienced hand will tell you, things are usually far from the ideal in the oil patch. Long chain hydrocarbons that should be liquid; but somehow stayed in a vapor state, exotic cyclic and double- or triple-bonded hydrocarbons, sulfur containing compounds, higher than expected oxygen levels, and entrained liquids are all (just to name a very few) situations that can influence how efficiently your combustor is combusting. These types of situations only take into consideration the feed gas stream; external factors can also turn a combustion device from an extremely efficient piece of equipment, into a soot-laden, smoke-belching, fine-inducing nightmare faster than you can say “what inspector?”

Most oil field combustors, also known as enclosed ground flares – are natural draft stacks. This means that the air required for an efficient combustion reaction is drawn into or “induced” into the stack through air intake ports at the bottom of the combustor. A pressure differential is created in the stack by the temperature difference between the base of the stack and the top of the stack creating this air flow. Clogged flame cells, air pressure inversions at the top of the stack due to high winds and flame cooling can cause a lack of induced air, which will lead to a rich combustion, a condition that can lead to smoke or significant noise from detonation.

Obviously, a maintenance program is extremely important to ensure that your combustors remain efficient. Choosing a combustion manufacturer who stands behind their equipment, providing warranty, service and even maintenance agreements is a good step in the right direction. Probably more importantly, choosing the right vendor involves assessing whether a manufacturer has performed and passed mandated state and federal testing guidelines.

Each state air quality agency require combustors meet specific destruction efficiencies and regulate the amount of emissions opacity or smoke a combustor can have in a given period of time. These rules are designed to be difficult in an attempt to guarantee that a combustor will operate efficiently under field conditions. Federally mandated EPA standards are separate, but very stringent guidelines that a combustor manufacturer must prove its products can pass. If a combustor is placed in the field and it hasn’t met EPA NSPS (Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources), 40 CFR 60 Subpart OOOO, known as Quad O, the purchaser is responsible for a monitoring and testing schedule as described in the regulation, which can be an undue and costly burden.

Quad O can be a very expensive and difficult test to pass and often takes multiple days of testing to complete. It is a much more detailed testing protocol that a straight forward DRE test that shows a snapshot of a combustors operating efficiency. Manufacturers may try to bypass this requirement; however, the regulation is enforced nationwide by the EPA and, depending on the location, may be a state mandated requirement for permitting a wellsite. Either way, it is not a regulation that can be ignored by the manufacturer or producer. A combustor manufacturer that has performed and successfully passed Quad O testing is one that has demonstrated that its equipment meets or exceeds the strictest emissions standards required by law.

So, what are the takeaways? Combustion efficiency seems like a simple concept, but in reality, combustion of waste gas on a wellsite can entail very complex reactions, which are extremely sensitive to inputs. A regular maintenance program and a manufacturing partner willing to stand behind its products and have an established warranty and service agreements. Producers require combustion equipment that is engineered to the strictest specifications and can meet complex and ever changing inlet gas compositions, which have also been proven to meet stringent state and federal testing requirements. This is the most important requirement, and is why I left it as a parting thought: combustion equipment must be safe and follow best practices. Equipment that takes into consideration the human aspect and keeps operators safe and provides for easy field maintenance through good design should be at the top of any purchasing decision.

 

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

XTO accepting applications for Give Back to the Bakken grant program

XTO Energy is dedicated to supporting the communities where we operate – where our employees live, work and volunteer. The communities located in the Bakken formation area – eastern Montana and western North Dakota – have welcomed XTO Energy. To show our appreciation, we want to Give Back to the Bakken.

A few days remain for nonprofit organizations in Montana and North Dakota to apply for two $25,000 grants from XTO Energy.

The grants, says XTO Energy, is a show of appreciation for the communities in eastern Montana and western North Dakota who have welcomed the company and its employees into their communities.

The two grants will be awarded to organizations that are meeting a demonstrated need for communities in the Bakken. Grant requests are due on October 31.

Click here for application guidelines and more information.

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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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MPA-MARK-MATHIS

The 2016 annual meeting of the Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) will take place in Billings August 30th and 31st at the DoubleTree Hotel, formerly the Crowne Plaza.

Event highlights include special guest, Congressman Ryan Zinke to speak Tuesday night at Pryor Creek Golf Course during the MPA barbeque. Recent past speakers include former Lt. Governor Angela McLean and Attorney General Tim Fox.

On Wednesday, the morning will commence at the DoubleTree with breakfast speaker Paul Babb of Butte, Community Relations Manager for NorthWestern Energy. Babb is a current member of the REAL Montana Program, a public-private partnership through the MSU Extension office, engaged in educating leaders of Montana on agriculture and natural resource development industries and issues. His presentation will be focused on the importance of “Telling the Story of Our Employees”.

The general meeting of MPA will follow, ahead of three panels which will address subjects including landowner relations, community engagement, methane rules, federal proposals, and collaboration with local government.

mpa_alan-olson“This year, we wanted to tailor our meeting to address Montana-specific issues that appeal to both industry and the general public,” said Alan Olson, Executive Director of MPA. “We’re hosting a good mix of industry experts and the regulators we work with on each of our panels.” (Olson, pictured right with MPA President, Greg Brown, CHS Refinery).

Panelists include Jack King of Billings, longtime landman and former commissioner with the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation; Steve Durrett, current BOGC member and President of August Energy Partners; recent past president of the Montana Association of Professional Landmen, Nicole Bement of Sidney, now with XTO. Each panelist will address how industry can balance public concerns with oil and gas operations by improving communication.

On the Community Engagement panel, speakers will discuss how oil and gas businesses are preparing the next generation of industry leaders, and making lasting investments in the community. Panelists will be Dan Carter, Public and Government Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil; Danette Welsh, Government Affairs Manager at ONEOK, representing the midstream; and Shawna Bonini, Montana Tech grad and past president with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and former Drilling Engineer for Chevron, and SM Energy in Billings.

A final panel on industry topics will address issues facing the oil and gas sector at the state and federal level, including hotly contested methane rules. Speakers include Tony Lucero, Lead of Regulatory Programs at Enerplus Resources; Karl Christians, Conservation District Specialist, DNRC; and Brian Fakharzadeh, VP of Development and Operations at Western Energy Alliance.

Keynote speaker of this year’s Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day luncheon will be author and filmmaker, Mark Mathis. Mathis has spent most of his career challenging widely accepted ideas that are he describes as “simply untrue”. Mathis’s resume includes a decade as a TV news anchor and reporter, talk radio host, media trainer, founder of Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, speaker and documentary film producer/director.

In his film, spOILed, Mathis highlighted the public’s ignorance of the central role oil plays in our lives. Mark’s new film, Fractured, exposes how language is used to dangerously deceive us about the most essential component to the function of the modern world—energy.

Registration is available online at montanapetroleum.org, and the public is invited to attend. Press requests and additional questions can be directed to Jessica Sena, 590-8675.

Bakken BBQSummer is coming and the 4th Annual Bakken BBQ is approaching quickly. MBI Energy Services would
like to invite you to join us in our joint effort to raise money and awareness with Make-A-Wish®
North Dakota Friday, June 17th, 2016. This partnership will help raise money to grant wishes to children
in our community living with life-threatening conditions.

The Bakken BBQ concludes with the presentation of the coveted Best BBQ Trophy fought for by each
company’s established team! Team’s menus are encouraged to include a meat and a side dish, dessert
optional. Each company needs to provide one judge. Judges will sample food from each participating
team and make their decision based on taste, originality and uniqueness. Trophies- and bragging rightswill
be awarded to the top 3 teams at 9:15 p.m. * Judges will not be able to score their own teams’ food.

Again, the BBQ will be held June 17th, 2016 at the West River Ice Center parking lot. Don’t forget, this
event is open to the public! Admission is $15/person which includes one drink ticket and unlimited taste
testing! Please bring your family and friends and enjoy this exciting community event. In addition to the
delicious food, the Blue Ribbon Band will be performing and activities will be provided for children. There
will be a raffle drawing before the awards are distributed, each ticket costs $10.00 with a variety of prizes.

Download the Registration Form, here.

Download the Event Information Brochure, here.

If you are unable to participate in the Bakken BBQ but wish to contribute a monetary donation:

Please make checks payable to: MBI Energy Services/Bakken BBQ.
Please mail your contributions to
MBI Energy Services,
Attn. Tiffany Steiner
103 1st Ave W Suite 200
Dickinson, ND 58601

(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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