Amy R. Sisk / Bismarck Tribune
LINTON, N.D. — Even if Energy Transfer gets approval from North Dakota's Public Service Commission to expand the Dakota Access Pipeline, it still needs approvals from regulators in other states that the 1,200-mile pipeline crosses. The company is proposing to build a new pump station in Illinois. It also wants to build one on another pipeline that connects Dakota Access to refining areas in Texas. The Illinois Commerce Commission has scheduled a hearing on the matter in December.
BISMARCK — State regulators are working through several issues surrounding a wind farm proposed in Ward and McLean counties, including the lighting system atop the turbines and the facility’s interconnection to the electric grid. The North Dakota Public Service Commission also is weighing a request from a labor union to require that the wind farm report how many of the workers involved in its construction come from the local area.
BISMARCK — A meteorologist will work with Oil Patch counties to track wet weather and help them make better-informed decisions on road closures using data from dozens of weather stations going up in western North Dakota. The effort is one of several projects for which the Industrial Commission authorized money this week. The commission is a three-member panel chaired by the governor that regulates the oil industry, among other areas.
BISMARCK — A state audit released Monday, Oct. 14, found that the Public Service Commission had a 17-month bonding lapse, which put the agency at risk if an employee were to have stolen from the commission during that time.
BISMARCK — As pump jacks pull more and more oil out of shale rock buried deep below the western part of the state, an increasing amount of natural gas travels up through the wells with few obvious destinations in North Dakota.
BISMARCK — Hearings are slated for early next week on a host of oil and gas rule changes before the North Dakota Industrial Commission, several of which seek to halt the growing number of abandoned wells. Statewide, 639 oil wells are considered abandoned, state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said at the Wednesday, Oct. 2, meeting of the Industrial Commission, a three-member panel chaired by the governor. The number has risen in recent years amid low oil prices, as companies decide to stop operating less-profitable wells.
BISMARCK — When Scott Wirth took the job of human resource manager at Roers three years ago, he had no trouble finding carpenters and laborers for construction projects. “We had people walking in the door every other day filling out applications,” he said. “I almost joked the first year, there’s not a whole lot of recruiting I have to do.”
BISMARCK — North Dakota's Public Service Commission has granted permits allowing an existing oil pipeline in McKenzie County to operate as a transmission line after its owner converted it from a gathering line without first obtaining approval from state regulators. The 20-mile line operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. became a transmission line after the company built a different pipeline in 2017 that connects to a common facility. The project led to changes in pressure and storage, causing the 20-mile line to fall under PSC jurisdiction.
A federal study examining the volatility of Bakken oil is giving North Dakota officials encouragement in their petition to overturn a Washington state law that targets oil train shipments. A study completed by Sandia National Laboratories concluded this month that “vapor pressure is not a statistically significant factor” in determining the fiery characteristics of oil train crashes. “The net result is Bakken oil is no different than any other kind of oil with respect to volatility,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said.
BISMARCK — With construction on the first large-scale solar farm in North Dakota slated to begin next year, state regulators are creating a rule that spells out steps for one day dismantling such facilities. The rule proposed by the Public Service Commission would require companies that operate solar farms to submit decommissioning plans.