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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 9th through August 15th. Enjoy!

5. Officials fight vandalism on grasslands in west North Dakota

Image: Mike Kopp/Shale Plays Media

Image: Mike Kopp/Shale Plays Media

MEDORA, N.D. — Officials in western North Dakota are trying to combat an increasing amount of vandalism on the Little Missouri National Grassland.

Cattle ranchers are seeing topsoil torn up, cattle that have been shot, calves that have been run over, and debris and beer bottles left behind, the Williston Herald reported.

“A lot of these ranches are intertwined with public land,” said Justin Mead, a fourth generation cattle rancher in McKenzie County. “People don’t realize where they are at or where they are going. And with no one out there, it is kind of tough to catch them. It’s been a game of cat and mouse.” To read the full article, click here.

4. OPEC says cheap oil taking longer to subdue rival suppliers

The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is pictured on the wall of the new OPEC headquarters in Vienna March 16, 2010. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is pictured on the wall of the new OPEC headquarters in Vienna March 16, 2010. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

LONDON – OPEC on Tuesday raised its forecast of oil supplies from non-member countries in 2015, a sign that crude’s price collapse is taking longer than expected to hit U.S. shale drillers and other competing sources.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast no extra demand for its crude oil this year despite faster global growth in consumption, because of higher-than-expected production from the United States and other countries outside the group. To read the full article, click here.

3. U.S. shale firms slide deep into the red on low oil prices: Kemp

Image courtesy of Hess Corp.

Image courtesy of Hess Corp.

LONDON – North America’s leading independent oil and gas producers reported large losses in the second quarter despite cutting costs and increasing output.

Ten of the largest independent oil and gas producers in the United States reported total losses of almost $15 billion between April and June, compared with profits of almost $3.5 billion a year earlier.

Three more independents remained profitable, but reported net income of only $66 million, down from more than $1 billion in the second quarter of 2014. To read the full article, click here.

2. U.S. oil drillers add rigs despite crude prices collapse – Baker Hughes

Image: Tim Whitlow via Flickr

Image: Tim Whitlow via Flickr

U.S. energy firms added 6 oil rigs this week, continuing a recent trend of increases, even after U.S. crude oil prices plunged 25 percent from a recent high in June, data showed on Friday.

That was a sign some drillers followed through on plans to add rigs announced in May and June when U.S. crude futures averaged $60 a barrel. U.S. crude futures so far this week however have traded around $45.

The rig count gain this week was the third increase in a row, the longest winning streak since September 2014, bringing the total rig count up to 670, the highest since early May, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. To read the full article, click here.

1. ‘Frack now, pay later,’ top services companies say amid oil crash

Pumpjacks taken out of production temporarily stand idle at a Hess site while new wells are fracked near Williston, North Dakota November 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Andrew Cullen/Files

Pumpjacks taken out of production temporarily stand idle at a Hess site while new wells are fracked near Williston, North Dakota November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen/Files

HOUSTON – Business is so tough for oilfield giants Schlumberger NV <SLB.N> and Halliburton Co <HAL.N> that they have come up with a new sales pitch for crude producers halting work in the worst downturn in years. It amounts to this: “frack now and pay later.”

The moves by the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 oil services companies show how they are scrambling to book sales of new technologies to customers short of cash after a 60 percent slide in crude to $45 (29 pounds) a barrel.

In some cases, they are willing to take on the role of traditional lenders, like banks, which have grown reluctant to lend since the price drop that began last summer, or act like producers by taking what are essentially stakes in wells. To read the full article, click here.

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