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Image: Joel Tysver

Top 5 Bakken news stories: April 16-22

Just in case you missed something last week, here is a recap of what articles Bakken.com readers found the most engaging from April 16 to 22. In addition to the recap, we’ve thrown in a bonus article about the Green River shale formation that appears to have resurfaced from the depths of old content. Enjoy!

5. Montana oil and gas lease cancellation challenged in US court

montana oil gas lease

The Peaks of Glacier National Park as seen from the Chief Mountain Trailhead in the Blackfoot Nation, Montana. (Image: Troy Smith via Flickr)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Louisiana company challenged the cancellation of an oil and gas lease in northwest Montana on Friday, after federal officials said drilling would disturb an area sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The 6,200-acre lease owned by Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge is in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It’s just outside Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

To read more about the decades-old lease, click here.

4. Hearing set on proposed $20 million Watford City pipeline

watford city pipeline

A natural gas pipline valve in McKenzie County west of Watford City, North Dakota. (Image: Tim Evanson via Flickr)

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are holding a public hearing in Watford City on a proposed oil pipeline in McKenzie County.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission says Sacagawea Pipeline Co. is seeking a permit for a 15-mile-long, 16-inch-diameter crude pipeline and associated facilities.

To find out when and where the hearing will be held, click here.

3. State audit critical of North Dakota’s Land Department

north dakota's land department

Looking up at the North Dakota State Capitol building in Bismarck. (Image: Timothy Vogel via Flickr)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An audit of North Dakota’s Land Department has found scores of discrepancies with the agency’s practices, including ethical violations that included employees getting free meals and booze from contractors who manage state assets.

The review, conducted by the state auditor’s office, criticized the agency for a “lack of an organizational culture of accountability” and found that “public funds were not used as efficiently and effectively as they could have been.”

To read the full article, click here.

2. North Dakota oil output drops 4K barrels daily in February

north dakota oil output

Image: Joel Tysver

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources says the state’s oil production decreased by about 4,000 barrels a day in February.

The agency says the state produced an average of 1.11 million barrels of oil daily in February. The production was about 110,000 barrels per day less than the record set in December 2014.

To see more statistics about ND oil production, click here.

1. Bakken crude sold as export first time since ban lifted

Bakken crude sold as export

Hess Corp. announced that a shipment of Bakken crude has been sold as an export for the first time since the U.S. oil export ban was lifted last year. (Image: Jamie Grant via Flickr)

Hess Corp. confirmed last week that it has sold Bakken crude to a buyer in Europe, the first shipment of North Dakota’s light crude since U.S. Congress lifted the decades-old oil export ban last December.

As reported by Reuters, the shipment consisted of 175,000 barrels of Bakken crude. In early April the crude was loaded at a terminal in St. James, Louisiana before being transported to a European refinery. Hess declined to name the buyer or the transportation vessel.

To read more about this historic shipment of Bakken crude, click here.

Bonus – Untapped: The story behind the Green River Shale Formation

The Green River Formation is an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming that contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil—yes I said trillion—with only half of it being recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions.

To learn more about the Green River shale formation and it’s untapped potential, click here.

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