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Image: Tim Whitlow via Flickr

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 September 5th through September 11th. Enjoy!

5. Regional Bakken economy beginning to stabilize

Watford City, North Dakota. Looking west on Route 85. Temporary housing and road constructed for oil and gas workers. (Image: National Parks Conservation Association via Flickr)

Watford City, North Dakota. Looking west on Route 85. Temporary housing and road constructed for oil and gas workers. (Image: National Parks Conservation Association via Flickr)

Hotel rentals, the flow of sewage and drilling are all down in the North Dakota oil patch, but the mood regarding the continued growth of Williston’s economy is optimistic, reports the Forum News Service (FNS).

At last week’s Williston Economic Development WEST! Conference, the city’s economic activity outside the oil field was highlighted and examined. Organizer of the conference and Executive Director of Williston Economic Development Shawn Wenko told FNS, “Everybody got used to what happened between 2010 and 2015, and that was a tremendous amount of growth, numbers that were off the charts, and that’s a trajectory that’s not sustainable.” To read the full article, click here.

4. Majority of US shale firms pass up Q2 chance to hedge $60 crude

Image: Tim Whitlow via Flickr

Image: Tim Whitlow via Flickr

NEW YORK – With the benefit of hindsight, last quarter may have been the best chance for cash-strapped U.S. shale oil producers to ensure they would get at least $60 a barrel for the next year or two. Barely a third did so.

According to a Reuters analysis of hedging disclosures by the 30 largest such firms, more than half of them did not expand their hedges during the three months ended June or had no hedges at all, exposing them to a plunge that wiped more than $20 off the price of oil in the following months. To read the full article, click here.

3. Like it or not, China’s crude oil futures will be a global benchmark

Getty Images via Newscred

SINGAPORE – China’s push to establish a crude derivatives contract has been met with early skepticism, but oil executives say the country’s growing economic influence means a third global crude benchmark is inevitable.

A derivatives contract would give the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, known as INE, a slice of an oil futures market worth trillions of dollars, offering a rival to London’s Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

And while others have tried and failed, China brings its might as the world’s biggest oil buyer, a strong dose of political will and the alignment of its financial and banking system for a yuan-denominated contract. To read the full article, click here.

2. Again? Continental Resources cuts budget, Bakken rig count

Continental Resources

Continental Resources, North Dakota’s second largest oil producer, announced that it will be cutting its budget for 2015 yet again amidst the persisting slump in oil prices. However, the company does anticipate continued production growth.

As reported by Reuters, last year Continental CEO Harold Hamm cancelled all of the company’s oil hedges. He called Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, a “toothless tiger” and placed his bets on an oil price rebound. Alas, oil prices have yet to climb significantly, which has spurred thousands of layoffs as well as budget reductions across the industry. To read the full article, click here.

1. Is the silica sand boom over?

Source: Minnesota Department of Environmental Quality, Report on Silica Sand, March 2013

Source: Minnesota Department of Environmental Quality, Report on Silica Sand, March 2013

WINONA — Is the controversial frac sand boom over in Southeast Minnesota, or is it just a lull in an industry that routinely experiences peaks and valleys?

Winona’s commercial harbor is reporting that it shipped no silica sand via barge in 2015. That marks a precipitous fall from nearly 400,000 tons last summer, according to Myron White, the harbor’s program director.

Winona had never shipped a grain of silica sand prior to 2010 when 4,700 tons were transported on the Mississippi River. That figure increased exponentially in subsequent years before peaking at 400,000, and then abruptly stopping. To read the full article, click here.

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