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Top 5 Bakken stories of the week

In case you missed them, here are the top five stories from Bakken.com for the week of August 1st through August 8th. Enjoy!

5. With crude at $50, oil firms fear deeper crisis than in 1980s

A sign advertising gas prices is seen at a Chevron station in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2015.   REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A sign advertising gas prices is seen at a Chevron station in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LONDON – After slashing spending by $180 billion to deal with one of the worst industry downturns in decades, oil companies are still bleeding cash and slipping further into debt to maintain dividends to shareholders.

Depressed crude prices – at below $50 a barrel Brent crude is half what it was a year ago – mean even more cuts are needed at new projects and existing operations. Companies trying to dispose of oilfields to raise cash could be forced to sell quickly and for less than they hoped. To read the full article, click here.

4. Oil company asking to drill test well in southwest Montana

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An oil exploration company is proposing to drill a 10,000-foot vertical test well in the Tendoy Mountains, eight miles west of Lima in extreme southwestern Montana.

Lima Exploration Co., a subsidiary of the Denver-based Great Western Oil and Gas Co., applied for a drilling permit with the Bureau of Land Management on July 13, said David Abrams, public affairs specialist for BLM in Butte.

Scot Donato, manager of regulatory affairs and environmental health and safety for Great Western Oil and Gas, said if the company is successful, the future could bring 10 to 20 wells to the area. To read the full article, click here.

3. Sewage flow becomes Williston’s oil bust indicator

Residential developments being constructed in Williston, North Dakota, in this file photo taken October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Files

Residential developments being constructed in Williston, North Dakota, in this file photo taken October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Files

WILLISTON, N.D. – The population of a U.S. oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is dropping fast because of the collapse in crude oil prices , according to an unusual metric: the amount of sewage produced.

Williston, North Dakota, has seen its population drop about 6 percent since last summer, according to wastewater data relied upon heavily by city planning officials.

They turned to measuring effluent because it was a much faster and more accurate way to track population than alternatives such as construction permits, school enrollment, tax receipts or airport boardings. To read the full article, click here.

2. U.S. crude stockpiles fall 4.2 mln barrels in latest week – EIA

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NEW YORK – U.S. crude oil inventories declined far more than expected last week, while gasoline stocks decreased amid robust demand for the motor fuel, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell 4.2 million barrels to 459.68 million in the week to July 24, more than twenty times analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 184,000 barrels.

U.S. crude imports fell last week by 396,000 barrels per day (bpd). At 2.7 million barrels for the week, that is more than half the week’s decline in total U.S. crude oil inventories. To read the full article, click here.

1. Hamm is certain the export ban will be lifted by October just as OPEC reduces output

Harold Hamm

Harold Hamm

The global oil market is in for some big changes this fall if oil tycoon Harold Hamm’s crystal ball proves accurate.

During a quarterly update conference call on Aug. 6, the Continental Resources Chairman and Chief Executive Officer predicted an “energy paradigm shift will have profound long-term consequences worldwide starting with the U.S. crude export ban being lifted so America can finally compete freely in world energy markets.”

He foresees the world demand growth and low oil prices rebalancing eventually; meanwhile, recent world events like the Iranian nuclear agreement and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) actions have shifted momentum to an all-time high. To read the full article, click here.

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