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Steel spindle on the pumping well at the Orvis State well on the Evanson family farm in McKenzie County, North Dakota, east of Arnegard and west of Watford City. (Image: Tim Evanson via Flickr)

Top Bakken news stories – May 14-27

It’s been an odd couple weeks for the Bakken. This highlight reel features an eclectic mix of justice, oil and saltwater spills, theft of oilfield explosives and the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. Scroll down to see what you missed!

7. 105K gallons of saltwater-oil mixture spills in North Dakota

Image: judith Doyle via Flickr - CC3

Image: judith Doyle via Flickr – CC3

MARMARTH, N.D. (AP) — A tank overflow has caused a spill of about 16,800 gallons of oil and more than 100,000 gallons of a mixture of saltwater and oil in North Dakota.

The North Dakota Department of Health says the spill happened Wednesday at a site operated by Texas-based Denbury Onshore LLC, near the town of Marmarth in the southwest corner of the state.

To read the full article, click here.

6. Henrikson sentenced to life in murder-for-hire scheme

mugshot

Photo: Associated Press

 

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The mastermind of a murder-for-hire scheme that originated from business dealings in the North Dakota oil patch was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to two consecutive life terms, intended to keep him in prison for the rest of his life.

James Henrikson, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza for ordering the killings of two business associates.

To read the full story, click here.

5. Rig count rises slightly as North Dakota oil expo begins

williston basin petroleum conference

State and industry leaders address the audience at the 2014 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, the last time the event was hosted in Bismarck, North Dakota. (Image: Renaue Cartier Mitchell)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A slight uptick in the number of drill rigs in North Dakota Tuesday fueled some hope to the struggling industry as the state’s annual petroleum conference got underway but a top oil industry official warned that production likely will be flat through 2016.

“Don’t expect to see a whole lot of change the rest of this year,” Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, told reporters.

To read the full article, click here.

4. Man accused of stealing explosives in North Dakota oil patch

Tyler Porter, seen in this mugshot, planned to sell the explosives he stole from the North Dakota oil patch on the black market.

Tyler Porter, seen in this mugshot, planned to sell the explosives he stole from the North Dakota oil patch on the black market.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Williston man accused of stealing explosives from companies operating in the North Dakota oil patch and stashing them in his home also had prohibited guns, more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition and books on how to build explosives, federal authorities said.

According to court documents, an informant told a regional drug task force that Tyler Porter planned to sell the explosives for thousands of dollars.

To read the full story, click here.

3. Construction underway in 3 states on $3.8B Dakota Access oil pipeline

pipeline construction cc0

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Construction is underway in three of four states on a $3.8 billion pipeline that will carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois.

Work on the Dakota Access Pipeline has begun in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois, spokeswomanLisa Dillinger told the American News. The 1,150-mile pipeline also will cross Iowa, but regulators there declined this week to act quickly on a request to allow Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to begin construction in that state.

To read more about the Dakota Access pipeline, click here.

2. North Dakota oilfield cleanup project scrubbed due to funding

In this photo taken Jan. 12, 2015, crews dig up land at a saltwater spill site near Blacktail Creek outside Williston, N.D. A North Dakota health official called the 70,000 barrel spill the state's largest during the state's current oil boom. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Zack Nelson)

In this photo taken Jan. 12, 2015, crews dig up land at a saltwater spill site near Blacktail Creek outside Williston, N.D. A North Dakota health official called the 70,000 barrel spill the state’s largest during the state’s current oil boom. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Zack Nelson)

 

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Scientists have halted a project aimed at finding a new way to restore North Dakota land ruined by briny oilfield wastewater, determining there wasn’t enough money allocated to complete the research.

The scientists, at the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center, have found that the site in Renville County is double the size of what had been thought and isn’t feasible now because of additional costs involved, said John Harju, an EERC vice president.

To read the full article, click here.

1. Trump addresses energy policy at North Dakota oil expo

Trump, energy, plan, oil, North Dakota

Donald Trump addresses the media on Thursday at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Donald Trump’s speech on energy policy electrified the crowd Thursday at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Trump’s message was simple: America first.

“America’s incredible energy potential remains untapped,” Trump said. “Under my presidency, we’ll accomplish a complete American energy independence.”

In front of about 7,000 people, Trump outlined an energy plan that promotes oil, natural gas and coal for the nation’s future.

To read the full article, click here.

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