Zero Drilling in Grasslands Blamed on Federal Permit Process - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Zero Drilling in Grasslands Blamed on Federal Permit Process

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Dickinson, ND -

An area of western North Dakota, that's proven to be a hot spot in the Bakken, is pretty much being ignored.

Oil companies say the federal government and their rules are to blame.

There are zero wells drilling in the National Grasslands in the state.

The reason, it takes too long for oil companies to get federal drilling permits.

It takes at least 180 days to drill on federal land, versus 10 days on state land.

One of the top producing wells in the state was drilled on federal land.

Jack Ekstrom with Whiting Petroleum says the federal government is forgoing potential revenue by creating a difficult situation for oil companies.

Ekstrom says, "We have a stated charge in Whiting to avoid federal acreage at all costs. Because you can't afford the delays in permits that take a year."

Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp are co-sponsors on a bill to address some of the issues with drilling on federal land.

Surface ownership in North Dakota is 82% private, 9% federal, and 2% state.

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