Ernest's Feed
Apr 3, 2015

Clock keeps ticking toward North Dakota oil tax break

By Ernest Scheyder

(Reuters) – The clock kept ticking in March on a potential $5.3 billion, two-year tax break for North Dakota’s oil industry after a state-calculated average of the month’s crude price fell below $52.59 per barrel.

The state waives its 6.5 percent oil extraction tax if the monthly price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma, transport hub falls below an inflation-adjusted limit, set at $52.59 per barrel for 2015, for five consecutive months.

Apr 2, 2015

Hess is mirroring Toyota manufacturing process to slash well costs

DENVER, April 2 (Reuters) – Oil producer Hess Corp
has turned to a manufacturing process developed by automaker
Toyota Motor Corp to cut costs and boost production as
crude oil prices lag.

Deploying a process called Lean manufacturing, and used by
only a handful of other oil producers, the move has shaved
roughly $400,000 off the cost of each North Dakota well in the
past eight months, a savings that comes even as Hess adds more
sand and frac stages on each well.

Apr 1, 2015

Whiting CEO says can still grow at current oil prices

DENVER, April 1 (Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp,
North Dakota’s largest oil producer, can remain profitable and
increase production even at current crude prices, Chief
Executive Jim Volker said on Wednesday.

The bullish comments come after weeks of uncertainty about
the company’s future following rumors it was about to be sold
and that Volker would retire.

Apr 1, 2015

Oasis mulls MLP for North Dakota gas processing plant

DENVER, April 1 (Reuters) – Oasis Petroleum Inc may
create a master limited partnership (MLP) for a $200 million
North Dakota gas processing plant, taking advantage of a key
financial trend in the energy sector to generate cash, President
Taylor Reid said on Wednesday.

Oasis, which operates solely in North Dakota’s Bakken shale
formation, plans to construct the plant to process natural gas
from the Wild Basin portion of North Dakota’s Bakken shale
formation, over the next two years.

Apr 1, 2015

North Dakota launches oil rules hoping to curb U.S. rail disasters

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota will from Wednesday require the more-than 1.2 million barrels of crude extracted each day from the state’s Bakken shale formation be run through machines that remove volatile gases linked to recent crude-by-rail disasters.

The controversial step is designed to abrogate the damage North Dakota crude oil – 70 percent of which is transported via rail – can cause during derailments.

Mar 27, 2015

Hi-tech and Big Data offer hope to battered U.S. oil industry

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The tech geeks are coming to the oil industry’s rescue.

With the price of crude plumbing lows not seen since 2009, Royal Dutch Shell, Whiting Petroleum Corp and many others are turning to rocket fuel, Big Data, lasers, spectrometers and other new or revamped technologies to do more for less.

Mar 25, 2015

As oil prices slide, North Dakota sees manufacturing in its future

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Business and community leaders in North Dakota’s western oil patch have launched an aggressive campaign to convince more manufacturers to set up shop locally, part of a push to expand the area’s economy beyond crude production and slash costs.

The effort, which was launched on Wednesday at a conference in Williston, capital of the state’s oil industry, comes as crude prices have plunged more than 60 percent since last summer, threatening the economy of a region overly reliant on one industry – pumping of oil out the ground.

Mar 23, 2015

Whiting Petroleum to offer 35 mln shares to reduce debt

, March 23 (Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp
, the largest North Dakota oil producer, said on Monday
it would sell 35 million shares of common stock to help pare
debt from its December buyout of rival Kodiak Oil & Gas.

The offering, as well as a $1.75 billion debt issuance, may
signal the company is not seeking to sell itself outright, as
the cost of an acquisition would rise exorbitantly.

Mar 19, 2015

Continental Resources adds to oil acreage at North Dakota auction

, March 19 (Reuters) – Continental Resources
Inc, the second-largest North Dakota oil producer, spent
$2.3 million at a state land auction for the right to explore
for crude on 160 acres, outbidding its nearest rival with just
seconds left on the clock.

The deal, secured this week with a check to state officials,
shows that despite the more-than 60 percent drop in crude prices
since last summer, demand for oil-rich acreage in the
state remains high. With most of its mineral rights spoken for,
any new auctions tend to elicit strong interest, usually from
smaller companies hoping for a sliver of North Dakota’s Bakken
shale formation.

Mar 19, 2015

Coming too late to North Dakota’s oil party

, March 19 (Reuters) – Like so many before
them, Terra Green and Jeff Williamson came to North Dakota’s oil
country seeking a better life.

They just came too late.

Itinerant, unskilled workers could as recently as last
spring show up in the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state and vie for
salaries north of $100,000 per year with guaranteed housing.
Halliburton Co, CalFrac Well Services Ltd and
others needed brute labor to help coax oil from the state’s
Bakken oil formation, considered one of the largest in the