Bakken update – 10/20

Two drilling rigs, both running 'round the clock. Photo by James Ulvog.
Two drilling rigs, both running ’round the clock. Photo by James Ulvog.

A few more articles of interest from the Bakken.

10/14 – byline Amy Dalrymple of Forum News Service at Bismarck Tribune – State celebrates $150 million solution to Williston traffic woes – Four lane truck bypass around Williston is complete. This is expected to reroute a lot of the truck traffic that would otherwise be going through town. Construction was still underway when I was in town in September, so I’ve not been on the road yet.

10/16 – AP at – Williston moves toward closing the last of the crew camps Article dives into the negative consequences of the city pushing so hard to force the crew camps to close. Such lodging is extremely helpful for oil field workers. When working 12 or 18 hours a day, it is difficult to cook food, do the dishes, get groceries, and clean up your room and still get enough sleep to function. Crew camps take care of all that.

The temporary nature of oil work creates high mobility which creates an extremely high risk from signing a one year apartment lease. If you get laid off, reassigned, or see your hours cut, you are still on the hook for the full term. You could be working near Williston this month, Minot next month, and south of Watford City a few weeks after that.

Article reveals that owners of hotels and real estate developers are pushing the city to shut down the crew camps. Makes sense. Doing so would increase their income substantially by forcing lots of workers out of man camps into their facilities.

The article quotes the mayor defending himself from vague charges of having private meetings with different groups of business owners. If I’m guessing on the issue correctly, article is suggesting he has had separate and private meetings with crew camp owners, developers, and hoteliers. Reading between the lines make me wonder what different messages are said in the meetings. That is deep background that goes far beyond what I’ve read before and far beyond my understanding.

Not mentioned in the article is what economic interests the mayor has.

10/16 – Reuters at – Schumberger to cut more jobs, sees recovery pushed to 2017 The oil field service giant is cutting more staff. They see the first quarter of 2016 being softer than now. They don’t expect a drilling recovery until 2017.

10/19 – Dickinson Press – Vandalism suspected cause in Williams County oil spillState and county officials say seals were intentionally broken on two tanks which subsequently leaked. Spill is being investigated as intentional vandalism. Current estimate is that 300 barrels of oil spilled.

10/19 – Dickinson Press – Delta to suspend jet service to Dickinson – Currently from Dickinson there are two daily Delta flights to Minneapolis and to daily United flights to Denver. Delta is running about 60% capacity on their two flights, which is the cited reason for suspending them.

Presumably the United flights will pick up the slack. At least that will push them towards 100% capacity.

Slow down in drilling is cited as the reason for drop in passenger boardings.

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