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US rig count drops 5 this week to 415

rig count, oil natural gas

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by five this week to 415, another all-time low amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 894 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 338 rigs sought oil and 86 explored for natural gas. One was listed ...

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County wants more details on Bakken oil refinery proposed near park

Pictured here is the Oxbow Overlook in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. If approved, a proposed refinery would be located only three miles from the park. (Image: NPCA Photos via Flickr)

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — Billings County leaders want more information before deciding whether to approve a proposed Bakken oil refinery about 3 miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The county’s planning and zoning board last month recommended approval of the $850 million plant, but the County Commission on Tuesday delayed taking action. Houston-based Meridian Energy Group ...

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Donald Trump to speak at North Dakota oil expo in Bismarck

Donald Trump, Republican nominee

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been tabbed as the keynote speaker for the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference that will be held later this month in Bismarck, an oil industry group said Wednesday. The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference is scheduled for May 24-26 at the Bismarck Civic Center. North DakotaPetroleum Council President Ron Ness said Trump is ...

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Gov. Jack Dalrymple to issue budget directive; agencies brace for cuts

In this file photo dated May 15, 2014, Gov. Jack Dalrymple speaks of the importance of the Watford City Bypass at the Groundbreaking for the Watford City SE Bypass. Director Grant Levi is in the background.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Jack Dalrymple is scheduled to issue his budget guidelines, and agency heads are bracing for potential reductions. Dalrymple is slated to address agency directors on Wednesday at the state Capitol. North Dakota Budget Director Pam Sharp says she expects the governor to ask state agencies to identify potential reductions when drafting spending plans for the ...

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Fracking related spills cause pervasive soil & water contamination

Brine spills from oil development in western North Dakota are releasing toxins into soils and waterways, sometimes at levels exceeding federal water quality standards, scientists reported Wednesday. Samples taken from surface waters affected by waste spills in recent years in the state’s Bakken oilfield region turned up high levels of lead, ammonium, selenium and other contaminants, Duke University researchers said. ...

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