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top 5 bakken stories of the week february 21-27
(Image courtesy of Whiting Petroleum)

Top 5 Bakken stories of the week – February 21-27

It was a busy week in the Bakken, but probably not for the reasons the industry had hoped for.

While the market fluctuated, investors applauded companies such as Whiting Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy when assets were sold and budgets were cut. Whiting, for example, announced it will suspend all new fracking and well completions the coming year and market shares jumped in after hours trading.

Meanwhile, a new Bakken refinery is making headway. And despite the widespread downturn, some people are determined to stay put in North Dakota. Read these stories and catch up on what you may have missed with the Top 5 Bakken stories of the week for February 21-27. Enjoy!

5. New rules aimed at North Dakota’s oil industry

Image courtesy of Whiting Petroleum

Image courtesy of Whiting Petroleum

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are proposing new rules aimed at the oil industry.

A slate of proposed rules were unveiled Tuesday, including a requirement that would require bonding for all crude and saltwater pipelines. Another new rule would require berms of at least a foot high to be built around a well site.

To learn more about the proposed regulations in North Dakota, click here.

4. As oil slides, many determined to stay put in North Dakota

View of downtown Williston, North Dakota. (Image: Mike Galt via Flickr)

View of downtown Williston, North Dakota. (Image: Mike Galt via Flickr)

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Kennedy Mugemuzi is done moving. After leaving Congo to live in Nashville for a few years and then coming to North Dakota for the opportunities of the oil boom, he is among the many staying put in Williston — even though depressed crude prices have spurred an exodus of thousands of drillers and others seeking new prospects elsewhere.

The epicenter of western North Dakota’s oil patch still teems with newcomers like Mugemuzi, who are opting to remain where they are in a still-strong economy instead of starting over somewhere else, or returning to the areas they left behind where jobs and financial stability are harder to come by.

To read the rest of the article and find out who is making North Dakota their home, click here.

3. Bakken asset sales require background check – regulators

To prevent inexperienced buyers taking control of infrastructure in Bakken asset sales, North Dakota regulators require background checks before approval. (Image: Range Resources Corp. Handout photo)

To prevent inexperienced buyers taking control of infrastructure in Bakken asset sales, North Dakota regulators require background checks before approval. (Image: Range Resources Corp. Handout photo)

Last week North Dakota’s top energy regulator admitted he was concerned about investment groups such as hedge funds buying oil assets in the state.

According to Reuters media, this concern is prompting Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms to run background checks on potential buyers. During a monthly conference call Helms said he is worried that some buyers will lack experience managing oil and gas facility operations. “It is a big concern,” he said, due to such facilities’ inherent safety risks.

Click here to read the rest of the article regarding oil and gas asset sales and bonding.

2. Bakken crude – Davis refinery update

Meridian Energy Group says the proposed refinery project in Belfield, North Dakota is on schedule. (Image: Rongy Benjamin via Flickr)

Meridian Energy Group says the proposed refinery project in Belfield, North Dakota is on schedule. (Image: Rongy Benjamin via Flickr)

California-based Meridian Energy Group provided the public with an update to how its new North Dakota Bakken crude refinery is progressing.

According to a news release, progress on the Davis Refinery in Belfield is making headway. Meridian has contracted engineering firm Vepica USA to provide preliminary studies of the proposed refinery, including the process simulation modeling of the proposed 55,000 barrel per day refinery. The laboratory models are currently evaluating different types of crude feedstocks and air emissions analysis.

To find out more about what could be the second “greenfield” refinery built in the United States since the 1970s, click here.

1. Whiting suspends fracking, cuts budget 80 percent – investors cheer

top 5 bakken stories of the week. Whiting Petroleum announced it will only spend $500 million in 2016 and will suspend all new fracking and well completion operations. (Image courtesy of Whiting Petroleum)

Whiting Petroleum announced it will only spend $500 million in 2016 and will suspend all new fracking and well completion operations. (Image courtesy of Whiting Petroleum)

Whiting Petroleum, North Dakota’s largest oil producer, announced it will freeze all new fracking and well completions as of April 1 and will cut its budget by 80 percent this year.

Whiting’s announcement marks the single largest cutback made by a major U.S. shale producer to date. In North Dakota, a state already facing a billion dollar budget shortfall and far-reaching spending cuts, the change will likely “reverberate in the economy of North Dakota,“ reports Reuters.

To learn what Whiting Petroleum has planned for 2016, click here.

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