It’s been a busy week for the Bakken. The Dakota Access pipeline is facing more resistance from environmental groups while production figures in North Dakota dropped by about 9,800 barrels in March. Meanwhile, a new study shows how much methane oil and gas development in the oil patch is emitting into the atmosphere, and Montana lawmakers are left dealing with low state revenues. On the other side of the globe, Saudi Arabia ousted it’s long-time oil minister Ali al-Niami. And last but not least, a friendly reminder to get registered for the 2016 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. We hope you enjoy catching up on what our readers found most engaging this week and have a safe weekend!
5. Push to start Dakota Access pipeline construction meets firm opposition
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Opponents of a proposed oil pipeline slated to run through four Midwestern states pressed Iowa regulators Thursday to keep a Texas-based petroleum company from starting construction before all federal permits are approved.
Dakota Access planned on beginning construction by now on the 1,150-mile pipeline that’s designed to carry a half-million barrels of oil a day from the Bakken oil fields in northwest North Dakota to a tank storage facility in south-central Illinois. The company told the Iowa Utilities Board in a filing last week it must begin laying pipe by Tuesday to finish before winter and avoid disturbing farmland for a second growing season.
To read more about the Dakota Access pipeline, click here.
4. North Dakota oil output drops 9,850 barrels daily in March
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources says the state’s oil production decreased by about 9,850 barrels a day in March.
The agency says the state produced an average of 1.09 million barrels of oil daily in March. North Dakota’s production record was set in December 2014 at 1.22 million barrels daily.
To read the full article, click here.
3. Study: Bakken oil field leaks 275,000 tons of methane yearly
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new study says the oil-producing region of North Dakota and Montana leaks 275,000 tons of methane annually, an amount that’s less than previously reported.
Researchers say it’s the first field study of methane emissions from the Bakken shale formation. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. It’s the primary component of natural gas.
To read more about methane emissions in the Bakken, click here.
2. Dip in state revenue prompts concern among Montana officials
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Revenue flowing into Montana’s coffers has slowed during the past three months, prompting concern from the Capitol to city halls across the state.
Montana’s general fund is nearly 4 percent behind projections, with oil and gas tax receipts down by more than half. The slowdown amounts to more than $67 million the government had counted on. What’s more, fluctuating prices at gas pumps are translating to budgetary uncertainty.
To read mnore about Montana’s state revenue, click here.
1. Saudi Arabia ousts longtime oil minister
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced the ouster of its longtime oil minister as part of a larger ongoing government shakeup.
A royal decree announced that Ali al-Naimi has been replaced by former Health Minister and Saudi Aramco board chairman Khaled al-Falih.
Al-Naimi has long been a pillar of Saudi oil policy, leading the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources since 1995. Prior to that role he’d served as the president of oil giant Aramco.
To read more about the ousting of Ali al-Naimi, click here.
Event reminder – 2016 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference – Bakken’s best foot forward
The last time the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference was hosted in Bismarck, North Dakota, attendees were sent back into the Oil Patch with the farewell, “The best is yet to come.”
Although that bright light on the horizon has turned to ominous and lingering clouds, industry leaders and policy makers alike have yet to label the Bakken as busted. Activity in the second largest shale formation in the U.S. is going to be around for decades into the future, but it’s changing.
To learn more about the 2016 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, click here.