Ernest's Feed
Jun 5, 2015

North Dakota refuses to flinch as OPEC keeps output high

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Oil executives in North Dakota, a center of the U.S. shale revolution, say OPEC made a questionable bet when it decided on Friday to stick with a policy that aims to push higher cost American producers out of the market by keeping output high.

Here, in the top U.S. oil state after Texas, oil companies have slashed costs over the last seven months to reach fighting weight – one that will allow them to profit despite the more-than 40 percent drop in prices over the past year and solidify the new American role as the world’s swing supplier.

Jun 3, 2015

North Dakota orders oil wells shut in on flooding concerns

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota oil regulators ordered small, privately held Zavanna LLC to shut in oil wells near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers on Wednesday after more than 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of rainfall sparked flooding concerns.

The state’s Department of Mineral Resources said it is concerned the confluence, located near the state oil capital of Williston, could exceed flood stage levels of 22 feet (6.7 meters) by this weekend after Tuesday’s rainfall, which easily surpassed the record of 0.9 inch (2.3 cm) set in 2002.

Jun 2, 2015

After oil, ex-North Dakota Indian leader forms marijuana firm

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The former chairman of a North Dakota Indian nation that controls one-third of the state’s oil output has formed a marijuana company to help tribes around the United States produce and distribute the drug.

Tex “Red-Tipped Arrow” Hall, who until last fall led the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, has formed Native American Organics LLC with California-based Wright Family Organics LLC, a medical marijuana company, the companies said in a statement.

May 28, 2015

To see why Amtrak’s losses mount, hop on the Empire Builder train

ABOARD THE EMPIRE BUILDER, May 28 (Reuters) – Its passengers
are mostly silver-haired retirees, oil-field workers and a few
young families gazing out the windows of Amtrak’s
least-profitable and third-longest line, rumbling from Chicago
through eight states and on to the American West Coast.

As the Empire Builder snakes along 2,230 miles (3,590 km) on
a 46-hour journey, it offers insights into the financial
problems plaguing America’s passenger railroad at a time of
intensifying scrutiny over its aging infrastructure and safety
record.

May 15, 2015

Exclusive: WPX Energy would add North Dakota rigs with $65 per barrel oil

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Oil and gas producer WPX Energy Inc would add one or two drilling rigs in North Dakota if WTI oil prices stabilized around $65 per barrel, Chief Executive Rick Muncrief told Reuters on Friday.

The forecast falls in line with U.S. shale peers, several of whom have pointed to $65 to $70 per barrel as the range in which they would add rigs and ramp up production.

May 15, 2015

WPX Energy would add North Dakota rigs with $65 per barrel oil

, May 15 (Reuters) – Oil and gas producer WPX
Energy Inc would add one or two drilling rigs in North
Dakota if WTI oil prices stabilized around $65 per
barrel, Chief Executive Rick Muncrief told Reuters on Friday.

The forecast falls in line with U.S. shale peers, several of
whom have pointed to $65 to $70 per barrel as the range in which
they would add rigs and ramp up production.

May 13, 2015

North Dakota posts surprising jump in oil output in March

, May 13 (Reuters) – North Dakota posted a
surprising jump in oil and natural gas output in March, as
producers leaned on newer technologies and processes to offset a
slump in commodity prices.

Many industry observers had expected output to fall for the
third consecutive month in the wake of a more than 50 percent
drop in oil prices since last summer.

May 12, 2015

Amidst an oil boom, North Dakota produces premium caviar

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota is known globally not just for prolific oil production, but also, it turns out, for caviar.

A distinctly American version of the salty delicacy prized for centuries by Russian czars gets its start each May in the cool waters where the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers converge, the same spot where explorers Lewis and Clark camped two centuries ago.

May 7, 2015

Oil on fiery North Dakota train less volatile than limit

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Crude oil aboard a BNSF
train that derailed in North Dakota on Wednesday caught fire
even though it was less flammable than required by a state law
that took effect last month.

Test results sent to federal investigators and seen by
Reuters show the state’s new rule may not be stringent enough to
significantly reduce the risks of fireballs after derailments of
trains carrying crude. In this crash, the crude on board
contained about 20 percent fewer volatile gases than regulations
mandate.

May 7, 2015

Exclusive: Oil on fiery North Dakota train less volatile than limit

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Crude oil aboard a BNSF train that derailed in North Dakota on Wednesday caught fire even though it was less flammable than required by a state law that took effect last month.

Test results sent to federal investigators and seen by Reuters show the state’s new rule may not be stringent enough to significantly reduce the risks of fireballs after derailments of trains carrying crude. In this crash, the crude on board contained about 20 percent fewer volatile gases than regulations mandate.