Ernest's Feed
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.

Sep 2, 2015

Nearly half of hotel rooms in North Dakota oil capital sit empty

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Nearly half of the hotel rooms in the epicenter of North Dakota’s energy boom have been sitting empty this year, yet another sign that plunging oil prices have cooled the economy of the second-largest crude producing U.S. state.

Producers, oilfield service providers and other energy companies across the state’s western oil patch have cut employee hours, canceled projects and laid off staff, all hoping to weather the low-price storm.

Aug 24, 2015

North Dakota’s governor says will not seek re-election in 2016

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, who shepherded the state through an oil boom that made it the No. 2 U.S. crude producer, said on Monday he will not seek re-election in 2016.

Dalrymple, who helped tighten regulatory standards across the state’s Bakken oil formation, steps that some critics decried as too lenient, said he decided not to seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family.

Aug 19, 2015

In downturn, North Dakota’s oilfield firms jostle for tiniest of jobs

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Oilfield service companies eager for work amid plunging crude oil prices CLc1 have until the end of Wednesday to bid for a guaranteed job: plugging a North Dakota well abandoned by a producer closing up shop in the No. 2 U.S. oil patch.

Whichever oilfield service company does the plugging, be it Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Schlumberger NV (SLB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or another firm, the job could bring in more than $20,000.