Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK - North Dakota oil and gas production saw robust increases in March but fell shy of the state’s oil record, the state’s top oil regulator said Wednesday. Oil production grew 4% in March to 1.39 million barrels per day, a “pretty good recovery” after severe winter weather in February hampered production, Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said May 15. The state set an oil production record in January with 1.4 million barrels per day. “I fully anticipate that starting with April, we’ll get back to setting records,” Helms said.
BISMARCK — North Dakota’s congressional delegation is urging the governor of Washington state to veto legislation they say would result in a “de facto ban” of crude-by-rail traffic from the Bakken. Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, all Republicans, wrote a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee about a bill approved by Washington legislators that would reduce the volatility of crude oil shipped by rail.
BISMARCK - North Dakota oil industry leaders urged federal geologists Wednesday, April 24, to consider new technology that has dramatically boosted oil production as they update an estimate of oil and gas resources in the Williston Basin. The U.S. Geological Survey is in the initial stages of evaluating the oil and gas that can be recovered in the Williston Basin, updating an assessment from 2013. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the previous estimate was based on 2011 technology and considered the Bakken and Three Forks formations but excluded other oil-producing zones.
BISMARCK - North Dakota lawmakers voted Tuesday to require the state engineer to review the ownership of rivers and streams in the state, legislation introduced late in the session that two officials say will require significant state resources. House and Senate members voted in support of House Bill 1202, a bill that requires a state review of “navigable waters,” or waterways that were used for commerce when North Dakota became a state.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers will vote this week on a bill that would require the POW/MIA flag to be displayed daily in front of the state Capitol. Jim Nelson, a Vietnam War veteran who advocated for the flag to be displayed, said honoring prisoners of war and service members who are missing in action is a daily reminder of the price of freedom.
BISMARCK — The co-owner of a Mandan bar says the business is prepared to take legal action to keep a mural that city officials ordered removed. The Mandan City Commission voted a month ago to require Lonesome Dove to remove artwork from the bar’s front wind block that is an unpermitted mural under the city’s ordinance. Now the business is working with the Institute for Justice, which describes itself as a national law firm for liberty that litigates to limit the size and scope of government power.
BISMARCK -- Human trafficking victim advocates are pushing for increased funding as North Dakota lawmakers work to finalize state budgets. The Senate voted to spend about $1.63 million on human trafficking victim services, but House members reduced the funding to $1 million. A House-Senate conference committee will meet on Monday, April 22, to work on a compromise for the spending level, which is part of the budget for the Attorney General’s Office.
BISMARCK — North Dakota residents concerned about nuclear waste storage say they’re “gratified” that state legislators included their suggestions in a bill approved this week. House members voted 85-5 on Wednesday in favor of Senate Bill 2037, a bill that sets up a framework for permitting and regulating the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers have approved a complex energy bill related to “pore space,” but some who opposed the property rights legislation say it will end up in court or referred to voters. House members voted 66-24 Wednesday, April 17, to approve Senate Bill 2344, which seeks to clear up issues related to pore space, which describes the cavity or void in underground rock formations. “We think that with this bill, we have the opportunity to protect surface owners as well as the operators,” said Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck.
WASHBURN, N.D. − The arrest of a Washburn man in connection with the killings of four people at a Mandan business left residents of the small central North Dakota town stunned. “You get a big lump in your throat because that was a little too close to home,” said Kim Ogden, who works on Washburn’s Main Avenue next door to the suspect’s chiropractor business. “You can just feel the weight in the whole town.”