(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.


“Doing it Right in the Bakken” & Beyond!  Mailed Nationwide.

BOBJ Publisher, Mary Edwards, got the opportunity to speak via SKYPE with Mark LaCour, Oil & Gas Sales Expert… about what’s happening for 2016, the publication’s “Industry niche” and so much more…. check it out! A great interview.

About: In his career Mark has sold over $205 million to the oil & gas industry and has had over 2200 meetings with almost every oil & gas company that you can name. He’s done business in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the UK, Middle East, Mexico, Canada, Norway, Scotland, Brazil and in the good ol’ US of A. He is the Director of Public Relations for the American Petroleum Institute (the API) Houston chapter, the largest group representing the oil & gas industry to congress. And he has a well-earned reputation as an industry “insider” and independent 3rd party market researcher. He is an author, sits on several oil & gas boards, has one of the top oil & gas presences in social media and when he not volunteering his time teaching STEM’s at local schools he helps other companies sell their products and services to oil and gas companies at modalpoint.com.


Television and Radio talk show host Sean Hannity will give keynote address
By Tessa Sandstrom

“The Best is Yet to Come!”

This was the promise from the 2012 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference (WBPC) when it was last held in Bismarck. The slogan, of course, spoke about the potential of the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan and the tremendous economic and career opportunities it brings to our region. With the WBPC now just weeks away, however, that slogan could also apply to this year’s conference, with more than 400 exhibitors and a great line-up of speakers signed up to attend.

The 2012 conference sold out in a record time of 17 minutes, but that record was eclipsed this January when booth space sold out within four minutes and more than 800 people were still online trying to secure their space. Hotel rooms for Bismarck-Mandan are already booked, and this year is promising to be the largest WBPC yet.
It’s no wonder; the Bakken continues to draw national and international attention, with reporters, ambassadors and leaders visiting from countries like Japan, Norway, Australia, India, Germany and others as the Bakken has helped make North Dakota a Cinderella Story of sorts. Where our state once only topped the lists of states with the largest outmigration of young people or states with the oldest population, North Dakota has now found itself atop lists ranking the best states for young people, the best states for job creation, and the happiest states.

HANNITY PHOTODespite being more than eight years into what is often called the Bakken “Boom” (a boom it is not, but rather a continually growing play and industry), this limelight and attention is still a rather new phenomenon for North Dakota, which was once cast aside as nothing more than a flyover state or a buffalo commons. Now, we continue to attract renowned journalists and commentators, including television and radio personality, Sean Hannity. After interviewing Billings County Commissioner and industry leader Jim Arthaud of MBI Energy Services on his radio program, Sean Hannity agreed to see the Bakken for himself and will be the keynote speaker at this year’s WBPC. Arthaud personally invited Hannity to the conference to be a keynote speaker and will also host Hannity on a tour of the Bakken.

Hannity has often highlighted North Dakota on his show and in his blog as an example for the nation in creating jobs, growing our economy, and moving us toward energy independence. “Unleash our resources. Unleash the ingenuity of American innovators. Unleash the work ethic of Americans desperate to work hard and earn a good living. We have the ability to be a thriving nation,” he wrote. And, as we will see and learn from many of the speakers at this year’s WBPC, that’s exactly what we’ve done in North Dakota and will continue to do.

As a well-known speaker, journalist, author and political commentator, Hannity has no doubt traveled the nation. We are excited to hear Hannity’s perspective about how our little state of North Dakota and our neighbors, Montana and Saskatchewan, are making a difference throughout the nation and even the world. We also look forward to introducing him to the many men and women who have helped develop the Bakken through technology and innovation that has helped make the Williston Basin a leader in the national energy renaissance, bringing us closer to energy security and reviving the American Dream.

Hannity, of course, is not our only well-known and renowned speaker. Also joining him will be some of the energy leaders themselves, including Continental CEO Harold Hamm, Oasis Petroleum CEO Tommy Nusz, Marathon CEO Lee Tillman, and Whiting Petroleum CEO Jim Volker who will discuss the industry’s future in North Dakota. More than 70 other speakers will addressing topics covering Bakken pipeline and rail infrastructure, impacts, flaring technologies, Bakken optimization, geology and more.

While all of these great talks will be open only to WBPC attendees, new to this year’s conference will be two Bakken Education Sessions. These sessions will be held at the Ramkota Ballroom and are free and open to the public. Ron Ness of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, Kathy Neset, a geologist and owner of Neset Consulting Service, and Alison Ritter of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources will each give presentations on the basics of Bakken geology, drilling, and hydraulic fracturing and take questions from the audience. Two separate sessions will be held Tuesday, May 20, with one beginning at 1:30 p.m. and another beginning at 3:30 p.m., and we encourage the public to come and learn more about this burgeoning industry.

For more information about the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, visit www.wbpcnd.org.

By: Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service

BISMARCK – Oil companies operating in North Dakota are keeping the brakes on this spring, but a “big surge in production” is expected this summer and fall, the director of the Department of Mineral Resources said Tuesday.

Lynn Helms said he expects the drilling rig count will increase from today’s count of 186 to 198 this summer, bringing as many as 2,000 more workers to Oil Patch communities.

Helms said he expects winter weather and spring road restrictions will continue affecting oil production for a few more months.

“It is going to be May, maybe even June, before production seriously gets underway,” Helms said.

Oil production rose 5.6 percent in February to 778,971 barrels per day, according to preliminary figures Helms released Tuesday.

The figure represents a new all-time high for North Dakota, but Helms said the increase was more modest than what he had projected.

“It’s still difficult to operate an oilfield and drill and frac wells in February, even a good February in North Dakota,” Helms said.

The department expects that winter storms will affect oil production in March and April. Helms projects it will take until May before the state hits 800,000 barrels per day.

“They’re keeping the brakes on as they ramp up a little bit this summer,” Helms said.

But once conditions improve, companies are expected to continue increasing their efficiency and drill more wells in less time.

Helms said the industry is proposing more multi-well pads, with seven wells on one location being the most popular number.

“It’s a positive thing because it decreases the footprint, increases the production and allows us to recover more of the Bakken and Three Forks oil,” Helms said.

One location in North Dakota has 14 wells that have been drilled. Helms said he’s signed three orders approving 18 wells on one location and he knows of two proposals that will come before him requesting to drill 24-well pads.

Flaring of natural gas rose about 1 percent in February to 30.4 percent, the second month in a row with an increase. The high was 36 percent in September 2011.

However, there has been huge improvement in the average number of days a well flares, Helms said. In 2007, a typical well flared for 380 days. In 2011, the average was 172 days and in 2012 the average was 51 days, Helms said.

Helms said he anticipates more progress will be made on reducing flaring this summer.

CenterPoint Energy Bakken Crude Services LLC (CEBCS) said on Tuesday that it has entered into a long-term agreement with XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, to gather XTO’s crude oil production through a new crude oil gathering and transportation pipeline system in North Dakota’s liquids-rich Bakken shale.

CEBCS is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy Inc. The agreement with XTO is the first agreement entered into pursuant to the open season announced by CEBCS on Feb. 19.

Under the terms of this new agreement, which includes volume commitments, CEBCS will provide service to XTO over a gathering system to be constructed in Dunn and McKenzie counties, N.D. The gathering system will have a capacity of up to 19,500 b/d.

CenterPoint Energy Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations.

The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $22 billion. With over 8,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years.

–Edgar Ang, eang@opisnet.com