A few articles on what’s going on in Bakken:
5/5 – Dickinson Press – Stark County wind energy permit rejected – Previously mentioned 87 slice-and-dicers operated by Dickinson Wind LLC, a sub of NextEra Energy were moving toward construction. Project has a buyer for the electricity, which I’m slowly learning is one of the biggest hurdles to clear.
With one abstention, the Stark County Commissioners unanimously denied a conditional use permit. An outpouring of public complaints persuaded the commissioners to vote down the application.
5/5 – Bismarck Tribune – Communities continue to expand in and around the oil patch – construction continues strong in Bismarck, Mandan, and Watford City. Several cities have about the same number of approved building permits as a year ago. The dynamic driving this is even though drilling activity has slowed dramatically there is still a huge backlog of demand for permanent housing instead of man camps and RV parks.
5/8 – Reuters at Bakken.com – Oil on fiery North Dakota train less volatile than limit – Six trains derailed on 5/6 near Heimdal and four burned. Vapor pressure was 10.83 psi, which is 2.87 psi or 20.9% below the new requirement of 13.7 psi. Of course the article goes on to suggest that 13.7 isn’t low enough.
Train was reportedly travelling at 24 mph.
5/7 – Amy Dalrymple at Oil Patch Dispatch – Oil on derailed train had vapor pressure well below state rules – Vapor pressure on derailed train was 10.83 psi. The tank cars were the new CPC-1232 without reinforced hull and were purchased in 2011. The cars were not the older DOT-111.
5/10 – Dickinson Press – Bakken baby boom: More young moms, babies in Dickinson that ever before – The hospital in Dickinson has seen the number of babies delivered increase from 325 in 2008 to 611 in 2014. That is just over a 10% increase per year.
Could your city handle a 10% increase in babies every year for six years?
5/13 – Bismarck Tribune – Oil tax drop unlikely – price of West Texas intermediate is well above the cutoff necessary to trigger the”large trigger” drop in oil tax. At this point the big tax drop looks unlikely.
Surprise comment is drillers will let a lot of wells wait until 2016 instead of getting them into production if there is no big trigger tax drop.
5/13 – Williston herald – Lead article in print paper had interview with Job Services Director discussing the current open jobs. She described 1,649 jobs that are open. this includes 251 mechanics with pay from $20 per hour for inexperienced up to $15 per hour for experienced. The oil jobs are in mid-stream, not production.
This is in an area with 30,000 people having jobs before the slump or about 5 percent of the number of people around the area.
California should be so lucky to have this kind of a slow down.
5/18 – Bismarck Tribune – It’s not all gloomy on the oil front – Flip side of the dramatic drop in crude oil prices is the cost of inputs for construction has dropped. Asphalt, which is based on petroleum, has dropped 20% from the amount budgeted for road projects this summer. The state Department of Transportation reports that costs for projects are coming in about 6% lower than forecast. More companies are bidding on projects.