Oil Rules Loosened for Drilling in Bowman County - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Oil Rules Loosened for Drilling in Bowman County

Posted:
Bowman, ND -

State regulators are finding out that a rule created to make oil sites more environmentally friendly is creating a make or break situation for drilling in certain areas.

In fact, eliminating reserve pits may be influencing some companies to consider drilling in South Dakota instead.

Bowman county used to be the hotspot for oil in North Dakota.

It was the number one producer for years.

In fact it slid from the top spot in July 2008, falling behind Mountail County, just after the oil industry figured out how to crack the Bakken.

Since then production in Bowman County has decreased.

"Bowman County has pretty much been asleep for a year and a half," says Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms.

No rigs are drilling in Bowman County today, but three were there recently.

Helms says he expects that number to pick up.

"That's in response to the industrial commission loosening the rules a little bit on reserve pits," says Helms.

In April 2012, the state Industrial Commission approved new rules to eliminate reserve pits at rig sites.

The pits were used to hold drilling mud, chemicals and diesel fuel used in the drilling process.

The new rule adds to the expense of drilling a well... Most major companies can make up some of the cost in savings gained in the reclamation of a site.

But Helms says for the companies operating a few rigs in remote areas, the cost can break a deal.

"The net can be $300,000 more in costs. If you add that to a 3.5 million well that had marginal economics anyway makes for a no drill decision."

Which is why the Industrial Commission has made exceptions to the "no reserve pit" rule to Luff Exploration and Continental Resources in Bowman County.

Not only does bending the rules make it more economical for oil companies to drill here... It is also has to deal with competition.

Just a stone's throw away from the Bowman County rig is the South Dakota border where reserve pits are allowed.

Helms says, "If you want oil activity in Golden Valley, Bowman, Adams or Hettinger, that's what going to have to do. It's designed to help the edge counties.

According to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, there is only one rig currently drilling in South Dakota at this time, which is in Harding County just south of Bowman.

Here's some information about oil activity in our neighbor to the south.

They have had 19 oil wells drilled so far this year with a majority of them in Harding County.

South Dakota produces 1.6 million barrels of oil a year, which is what North Dakota produces in two days.

  • Bismarck/Mandan NewsMore>>

  • Authorities Search for Man Last Seen in Killdeer Friday

    Authorities Search for Man Last Seen in Killdeer Friday

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:44:10 GMT
    The Dunn County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man missing since Friday afternoon.
    The Dunn County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man missing since Friday afternoon.
  • ND Produces 1 Million Barrels a Day

    ND Produces 1 Million Barrels a Day

    Wednesday, June 18 2014 8:56 AM EDT2014-06-18 12:56:03 GMT
    The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division reports that oil companies are producing one million barrels of oil per day.
    The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division reports that oil companies are producing one million barrels of oil per day.
  • $2.3 Million Dollar Makeover for 4-H Camp

    $2.3 Million Dollar Makeover for 4-H Camp

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:53 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:53:24 GMT
    By Alicia Ewen State leaders gather in Washburn to celebrate the ground breaking of a new 4-H facility. It will cost a total of 2.3 million dollars but to many, it's about more than just a pretty upgrade.

     

Quick Clicks
Closings/Delays
View list
Calendar
What's happening?
Lottery Results
Feeling lucky?
Viewer Photos
Submit yours!
Road Report
Current conditions
TV Listings
See what's on
Gas Prices
Check near you
E-Mail Newsletter
Signup now

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow
General information or questions:
kxinfo@kxnet.com

News:
Bismarck:
Phone: 701-223-9197
News Fax: 701-223-1985

News:
Minot:
Phone: 701-852-2104
News Fax: 701-838-1050
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXNET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.