Update on news around Williston

Photo by James Ulvog.
Photo by James Ulvog.

A few articles of interest to me over the last two months: baby deliveries increase, airline boardings down, adjustments to low prices continue.

1/15 – Amy Dalrymple at Oil Patch Dispatch – While oil boom has slowed, births still booming – number of births in Williston and my not word a record number last year. The count at Williston’s Mercy Medical Center:

  • 882 – 2015
  • 804 – 2014

Mercy Medical expects high number of deliveries in 2016, but likely not at the level of 2015.

Several comments in the article suggests an explanation for the increase in deliveries while the economy is slowing and employment is dropping. Guys who brought their families to the oil patch during the boom made a decision to stay in the area long-term. Looks like a huge number of people have set down roots and will ride out the slowdown.

Hint: I will have more to say on the baby topic soon.

12/26/15 – The Million Dollar Way – New Term For Me: Drill Out Date versus Spud Date – Fun tidbit for me is a geologist’s report for drilling a well. The report says it took six days to drill the vertical and curve plus another seven days for the lateral run.

Typical reports reviewed by Mr. Oksol indicate the vertical drilling usually is at a rate of 2 or 3 ft./m. The lateral run average a foot every two minutes. This particular well was drilling up to 200 or 250 ft./h. That would be from 3.3 up to 4.2 feet per minute.

12/28/15 – Amy Dalrymple at Grand Forks Herald – Shakeup in oil well ownership means big demand for inspections – Another trick oil drillers have is selling off wells one at a time. The number of wells sold in North Dakota has passed the 1,000 mark. Before the sale is approved by the state, the well needs to be inspected for full compliance and the new owner vetted for bonding, licensing, and registration with state.

Seems to me the economics of selling a well would be that it is priced today based on the expected market prices now and at the time the oil can be produced based on the likely production. Buyers are making a bet that prices will rise eventually and both the current production and value of the well will be much higher in a few years.

Article says Mr. Helms says about 2/3rd of the wells sold are older, legacy wells.

1/12 – Amy Dalrymple of Forum News Service in Bismarck Tribune – Williston commission votes to move strip clubs out of downtown – Commissioners passed the first reading of rules which will require “exotic dancing” businesses to be located in heavy industrial areas, which are on the edge of town.

Rules would also prohibit such businesses from serving alcohol.

Very clear target is two strip clubs in the heart of the downtown area which are on the same block. I think they’re actually adjacent to each other. The troublesome dynamic is that if a patron got tossed out of one because of being unruly, said patron merely needs to stagger 20 or 30 steps to get to the other strip club.

1/15 – Associated Press at Bakken.com – North Dakota airline boardings reflect slump in oil industry –  Check out the number of people boarding a plane at the eight largest airports in the state:

  • 0.65M – 2007 – before the boom began
  • 1.24M – 2014
  • 1.18M – 2015

That is a 4.8% drop in 2015 as drilling activity dropped dramatically.

Article resurfaces the fussing by one Williams County Commissioner who doesn’t think there is any reason to build a new airport at Williston.

City officials point out traffic has grown from 6,500 back in 2006 up to 109,000 in 2015. The airport is handling 10 times the amount of passenger traffic it was designed to handle.

To put that 2015 traffic into perspective that is an average of 299 passengers per day on planes that hold 50 passengers each. There is one gate at the Williston airport. The only food service is provided by two vending machines. Oh, I forgot about the two vending machines inside the one gate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *