Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.47.33 PM“What we see is the technology is changing rapidly.
We want to stay at the forefront of that.”

Are regulatory updates across the Rockies states encouraging or hindering reusing produced water for fracking?
For us, in the Piceance basin, I’m going to say encouraging. The state is really supportive of water sharing agreements within the Piceance basin. So that’s a yes.

There is a lot of pressure towards reusing produced water for fracking currently – how can operators manage these pressures?
I believe most operators want to reuse their water, and for us there are regulatory pressures. Because we use slick water approach to complete our wells, it makes it easier for us to recycle our water. When you go to the front range, where operators’ chemistry requires a more complicated completion fluid, it becomes more difficult. So here, it’s very straightforward.
For us, there is a cost of recycling the produced water, but it makes more sense than pulling freshwater out of the river; this gives us a real advantage.

Water sources are under stress from industries besides the oil and gas industry, do you believe reusing produced water is the solution to water sourcing issues? Using produced water is a good option for all operators. Obviously, there are economic restraints depending on the quality of water you have to clean and where you have to take it to, to reuse it. Locally, we’re sensitive to the stress of sourcing freshwater – obviously in Colorado, water is key to everyone. We made the switch to recycling close to 100% of our produced water and really, in the local community’s eyes, it made sense. It’s something that we’re proud of.

Download the full interview here.


WASHINGTON, D.C. –North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) Vice President Kari Cutting will testify before two U.S. House subcommittees today on the subject of Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence.
In her testimony to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Oversight, Cutting will address the industry’s safety record and goals, the qualities of Bakken crude, the steps taken by the industry to properly classify and ship Bakken crude oil, and steps taken to ensure emergency responders are prepared to handle any incidences that may occur.

“Three independent studies have now shown that Bakken crude is similar to other North American light, sweet crude oils in gravity, vapor pressure, flash point and initial boiling point,” says Cutting. “According to these studies, Bakken crude oil chemical properties attest to its proper classification as a Class 3 flammable liquid. This category contains most of the valuable fuels and fuel feed stocks offered for transportation in the United States.”

With the increase of Bakken crude being shipped by rail, however, Cutting stressed the industry’s continued commitment to safely handling and transporting this cargo, including its partnership with railroads and local responders to develop a common educational tool to be distributed broadly to fire departments either through web portal or DVDs. This information is available for companies to use in continued interaction with EMS personnel.

The oil and gas industry will also continue development of additional response resources and periodic meetings to keep the lines of communication open to maximize information sharing of the latest data on emergency response for crude and other flammable liquids incidents.

“Hazardous Materials transported by rail arrive safely at their destination 99.997% of the time, but all stakeholders recognize the importance of implementing additional safety measures to reduce the probability of the remaining 0.003%,” says Cutting. “Routing analysis, infrastructure inspection and maintenance, railcar design, and additional training and information for Emergency Management personnel are all efforts being addressed.”

The joint hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee will begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The hearing may be viewed online at


ATTACHMENT: Cutting Testimony

For media inquiries, contact Tessa Sandstrom by email. (I will not be reachable via telephone, so please email with questions).

Since 1952, the North Dakota Petroleum Council has been the primary voice of the oil and gas industry in North Dakota. The Petroleum Council represents more than 525 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. Our members produced 98 percent of the 313.5 million barrels of oil produced in North Dakota last year.

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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

by North Dakota Housing & Finance Agency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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