Ernest's Feed
Sep 28, 2015

Snow-capped peaks of ‘Blood & Oil’ get panned by North Dakotans

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakotans, so annoyed that ABC’s oilfield soap opera “Blood & Oil” features sweeping vistas of mountains that don’t exist in their state, made a drinking game out of the geological farce during the show’s Sunday night premier.

See the dusty peaks of the Rocky Mountains towering over pipelines? Take a drink.

Sep 24, 2015

North Dakota postpones deadline for natgas flaring rules

By Ernest Scheyder

BISMARCK, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota regulators on Thursday gave the energy industry 10 extra months to reduce the amount of natural gas burned off at oil wells, acquiescing to industry worries that construction delays have made it all but impossible to meet existing targets.

Regulators in the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state stopped short of approving the full two-year extension sought by companies grappling with the steepest price downturn in years. Environmentalists, who had wanted to stick to the original deadline, criticized the decision.

Sep 24, 2015

North Dakota set to extend deadline for gas flaring rules

, Sept 24 (Reuters) – North Dakota is poised
to give the energy industry up to two extra years to curb the
amount of natural gas burned off at oil wells, a move that would
ease worries pipeline construction delays make it impossible to
meet aggressive flaring standards.

Governor Jack Dalrymple and the two other members of the
North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), who spent months last
year finalizing the rules, will mull oil companies’ request for
the extension at their Thursday meeting.

Sep 22, 2015

North Dakota oil producers, regulators spar over new rules

By Ernest Scheyder

FARGO, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota’s oil producers and their federal regulators spared at an industry conference on Tuesday over a raft of new rules with broad implications for energy development, the latest escalation in a war of words that has both parties aiming to sway public opinion.

The public spat at the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting comes as federal agencies move to exert greater control over how oil companies extract crude from shale formations and how even small bodies of water are used nationwide.

Sep 22, 2015

‘Blood & Oil’ gives North Dakota oilfields soap opera treatment

, Sept 22 (Reuters) – North Dakota’s oil boom
gets the Hollywood soap opera treatment in ABC’s “Blood & Oil,”
which explores the insatiable lust for money and opportunity
that defined the tens of thousands who built the state into an
energy giant and rival to OPEC members.

The series, which premieres on Sunday, tracks a young couple
played by Chace Crawford and Rebecca Rittenhouse who aim to open
a laundromat in burgeoning Rock Springs, a fictional oil
boomtown based on real-life Williston.

Sep 14, 2015

North Dakota may let more oil wells be temporarily idled

, Sept 14 (Reuters) – North Dakota’s oil
regulators said on Monday they may allow more wells to be
temporarily abandoned, a step that would permit producers to
delay fracking beyond the typical one-year window and prevent
even more crude from flooding onto global markets.

The change would fuel massive savings for oil producers in
the state who have amassed a backlog of almost 1,000 wells that
have been drilled but not completed with processes needed to get
the oil flowing. The delays are designed solely to ride out the
roughly 50 percent drop in crude prices since last year.

Sep 11, 2015

US oil producers thirsty for cash eye wastewater unit spin-offs

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Some U.S. oil producers are trying to sell parts of their lucrative saltwater disposal businesses in a sign that cheap crude is already forcing cash-starved companies to sell assets so oil can keep flowing.

Many oil companies rely on outside contractors, which tend to be small, privately-held companies, to inject the briny byproduct of crude production hundreds or thousands feet deep into the earth, well below the water table.

Sep 10, 2015

U.S. shale giants turn to 2016 with somber outlook

, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Some of the largest
U.S. shale oil producers have already begun slashing 2016
budgets, with some planning double-digit reductions starting
next January, the latest sign low crude prices are
forcing a radical adjustment in the industry.

A rash of bleak commentaries from CEOs this week marks one
of the earliest times in a calendar year that oil producers have
laid out rough sketches for the following year’s spending.

Sep 9, 2015

U.S. Sen. Heitkamp of North Dakota won’t run for governor

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a moderate Democrat, said on Wednesday she will not run for governor of the second largest oil-producing state, preferring to work in the Senate to end the U.S. ban on crude exports and shape other energy policies.

The decision marks a victory for national Democrats, who had feared Heitkamp’s entry into the gubernatorial race would complicate efforts to retake the U.S. Senate from Republicans in 2016.

Sep 8, 2015

Humbled by cheap oil, Continental Resources trims budget

By Ernest Scheyder

(Reuters) – Continental Resources Inc cut its 2015 budget for at least the third time on Tuesday, as it grapples with the reality of cheap crude, but North Dakota’s second-largest oil producer said it still expects double-digit production growth this year.

Founder and Chief Executive Harold Hamm canceled all of Continental’s oil hedges last fall after calling OPEC leader Saudi Arabia a “toothless tiger” in a bet that a price rebound would soon materialize.