Williston getting limited-membership business club

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News- Dec 02, 2013 No Comments

WILLISTON, N.D. — The North Dakota town of Williston is getting a limited-membership social and business club featuring a bar and restaurant.

Co-owner Joel Lundeen said The Bakken Club will be a place where “like-minded individuals can further business relations.” The former Williston Boutique Hotel site will provide a relaxed setting for colleagues and families dine in gourmet fashion.

Lundeen said the club is scheduled to open Thursday provided all building permits are processed.

He said the idea was borne out of the amount of business being conducted in Williston.

Premier membership includes a one-time $5,000 initiation fee and $3,000 annual dues. A corporate membership, which includes a one-time $15,000 fee and $9,000 dues, gives a company membership for one primary member plus three additional members.



North Dakota launching website to notify public of spills

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Invoice factoring, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News- Dec 02, 2013 No Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. — It took nearly two weeks for North Dakota officials to tell the public about an autumn pipeline rupture that caused more than 20,000 barrels of crude to ooze across a northwestern wheat field.

In response to extensive media coverage and criticism from environmental groups, the North Dakota Health Department will launch a website sometime this week that will enable the public to monitor reported oil spills and other hazardous leaks.

Dave Glatt, chief of the department’s environmental health section, said Monday that website visitors will be able to track recent spills and those that happened as far back as 1975.

“All of the historical numbers of the spills we have had will be on there,” Glatt said. “And we will be updating it manually about two times a week.”

The website did not have a dedicated Internet address on Monday.

The massive spill from a Tesoro Corp. pipeline that was discovered by a Tioga farmer in September, and the incident exposed that state regulators had known about the spill but failed to notify the public until The Associated Press asked about it.

The agency said that while companies must notify the state of any spills, the regulators don’t have to release that information to the public, which is not unusual in oil-producing states.

“It’s a long time coming and a step in the right direction and something we’ve been asking for, for a while,” Don Morrison, executive director of the Dakota Resource Council, said about the spill data that’s designed to be easily tracked by the public.

Some regulators had said spill data was public record and available upon request, but Morrison said it was near impossible to access such information until now, unless one already knew the specifics of a spill.

“They stonewalled, put up roadblocks and made it as difficult as possible to get,” said Morrison, who heads the environmental-minded landowner group with more than 700 members in North Dakota.

Glatt said regulators already had planned a publicly accessible spill website at least two months before the Tesoro pipeline rupture near Tioga.

“We had been thinking about doing this since last summer but the Tesoro spill obviously expedited the timeline,” he said.

The North Dakota Health Department was told about the spill hours after it happened on Sept. 29. Although the state initially thought just 750 barrels of oil was involved, it turned out to be one of the largest onshore spills in U.S. history — an estimated 20,600 barrels covering 7.3 acres of land, or about the size of seven football fields. Regulators said the spill caused no damage to water or wildlife.

Tesoro estimated it would cost $4 million to clean up. Glatt said that effort is expected to take about two years and the company has recovered about 5,000 barrels of oil so far.



Despite pressure to ban fracking, majority of Coloradans support it

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, Corpus Christi Financing News, Eagle Ford Shale News, Eagle Ford Shale Staffing Fianncing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Invoice factoring, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News, Permian Basin Financing News- Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

A majority of Coloradans supports hydraulic fracturing, despite pressure to put the screws to the controversial practice.

A recent poll released by Quinnipiac University finds that 51 percent support fracking for natural gas and oil, with 34 percent opposed. Republicans overwhelmingly support the practice by 80-9 percent, and Democrats are mostly opposed, by 54-26 percent.

The results came out at the same time that Colorado announced tough new air control standards — including for releases of methane — that place new regulations on oil and gas development. The regulations were written in consultation with some of the biggest energy companies operating in Colorado and represent a rare détente between the Colorado’s Democratic-controlled government and industry.

But Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis — a foe of fracking who once filed a complaint with the state over a fracking rig near his weekend getaway — said earlier last week that the state lacks “common sense” regulations and puts homeowners at risk.

“Unfortunately the fracking rules are overseen by an oil and gas commission that is heavily influenced by the oil and gas industry,” he said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. “They don’t have at their disposal the independence or the ability to enact real penalties for violations of our laws and their charge is not first and foremost to protect homeowners and families and health.”

Polis represents three municipalities that recently voted to place moratoriums on fracking, in defiance of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s promise to sue communities that impose greater restrictions on oil and gas development than the state.

And Hollywood has recently gotten into the act as well, with celebrities like Darryl Hannah, Marisa Tomei and others recording a video to Hickenlooper urging him to ban fracking.

Despite the high profile pressure, industry groups are taking some comfort in the Quinnipiac poll.

“Despite the strong support for fracking, our work is far from over,” said Jon Haubert, spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, in a press release.

“In certain parts of Colorado, it’s evident that years of misinformation about fracking have had a negative impact on Coloradans,” he continued. “Even though we’ve been fracking since 1947, over 1.2 million times and more than 90 percent of today’s oil and natural gas wells are fracked at some point during their lifespan, some residents still admit to not knowing or understanding what fracking involves.”

But fracking opponents point to other polls done elsewhere in the United States showing less support, including a Public Policy Institute of California survey showing 53-32 percent opposition. While Pennsylvanians approve of fracking by 49-40 percent, two-thirds favor a moratorium to study the health risks, according to another poll.

A Hickenlooper spokesman told the Denver Post that the new regulations make Colorado a “national model and leader” on the issue.

Fracking activists are expected to put a statewide ban on the practice on the 2014 ballot.


source-  http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/25/despite-pressure-to-ban-fracking-majority-of-coloradans-support-it/#ixzz2lhI369qM

Strict scrutiny for fracking

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, Corpus Christi Financing News, Eagle Ford Shale News, Eagle Ford Shale Staffing Fianncing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News, Permian Basin Financing News- Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

Gov. Jerry Brown has released draft regulations to govern fracking in California that very closely follow the lines of a bill passed this year by the Legislature. The problem is that the bill itself, though better than nothing, is not strong enough to ensure the safety of the state’s air, water and ground stability in the face of this controversial and not-yet-fully-understood practice.

Neither the bill nor the draft regulations make it clear whether the state will require environmental impact reports for individual fracking projects under the California Environmental Quality Act. The author of the bill, Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), insists that it will. Representatives of various environmental organizations, including several that are generally supportive of the law, interpret the wording to mean that it won’t.

That would be big mistake. We agree with Brown that CEQA has become too cumbersome a law and that minor, inoffensive projects are sometimes delayed or halted by specious lawsuits brought under its provisions. But if there were ever a practice that cried out for a clearly defined CEQA requirement, it’s hydraulic fracturing, which involves the injection of chemically-treated water into the ground to fracture rock and release oil or gas. In California, oil companies are clamoring to get at 15 billion barrels of oil believed to be locked within the giant land formation called the Monterey Shale.

As large-scale fracking comes to California, there are understandable concerns about possible contamination of air and groundwater, and about the use of massive amounts of water in a drought-prone state. Another big concern is the link found in other states between earthquakes and the process of disposing of the wastewater from fracking by re-injecting it into the ground.

The proposed regulations at least would require a measure of monitoring and public information. Oil companies would have to disclose the chemicals they are using, though there are exemptions for trade secrets. They would also be required to monitor groundwater quality and make the information available to the public, and to notify neighbors before fracking begins.

In addition, the state will conduct two studies on fracking — a statewide environmental report and an overall safety report. Those are to be finished by the start of 2015.

We would have preferred a statewide moratorium on fracking, like the one in New York, until the studies were completed. Yes, fracking could create enormous numbers of jobs and billions in tax revenue, at least while the boom is on. But that would still be true in a couple of years, if the state ultimately determined the practice was safe. In the absence of a moratorium, the regulations should make clear that strict environmental scrutiny under CEQA is required before each fracking project begins.


Texas oil boom means more money for UT, A&M

Posted in: Corpus Christi Financing News, Eagle Ford Shale News, Eagle Ford Shale Staffing Fianncing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News, Permian Basin Financing News- Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

Oil and gas royalties are pumping a record amount of money into the endowment that supports the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems, helping push the fund to a record $14.8 billion.

In fiscal 2013, which ended Aug. 31, oil and gas royalties from state land provided $648 million for the Permanent University Fund, up from $506 million a year earlier and $279 million in fiscal 2009.

Along with investment returns, the fund is up nearly 9 percent over 2012 and 53 percent over 2009, according to UT System officials.

“The last four years, it’s been significant,” Randy Wallace, chief budget officer for the UT System, said.

The UT System manages about 2.1 million acres of state-owned land in the Permian Basin. Oil was discovered on the 75,000 square miles in West Texas and eastern New Mexico in the 1920s. In recent years, new technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unleashed a new oil boom there.

“Some formations that previously we couldn’t get to produce are now very productive,” said Jim Benson, executive director of University Lands, which manages the fund’s land holdings.

Oil production on the land has more than doubled, from about 1.5 million barrels a month in 2010 to more than 3 million barrels a month in 2013, Benson said. He said he expects production to keep rising, likely to 4 million barrels a month within the next two years.

Revenue from oil production and lease sales does not go directly to university operations. Under state law, it feeds the permanent fund, which is managed by the University of Texas Investment Management Co., a private, nonprofit company.

University regents can distribute 4.75 percent of a three-year average of the Permanent University Fund’s asset value for uses such as paying off debt and administrative costs. The UT System gets two-thirds of the return, while a third goes to A&M, said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, spokeswoman for the UT System.

Amy Madden is a student journalist for reportingtexas.com at the University of Texas at Austin.


Texas oil and gas center is now richest U.S. area

Posted in: Corpus Christi Financing News, Eagle Ford Shale News, Eagle Ford Shale Staffing Fianncing News, frac, fracking, Invoice factoring, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News, Permian Basin Financing News- Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

A Texas city has edged out Fairfield County, Conn., as the country’s richest metropolitan area.

Midland ended Fairfield County’s 26-year reign as the area with the highest per capita income, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The two counties that make up the Midland metro area had a per capita income of $83,049 compared to the second-place $81,068 for the Bridgeport metro area that includes Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Danbury.

San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, D.C., rounded out the top five metropolitan areas.

The change at the top is the story of two counties, figures show. Midland is heavily dependent on mining, which includes oil and gas, economist David Lenze said. Fairfield County, meanwhile, has an economy centered on the financial services industry.

While there was an $800 million increase in one of the two counties that make up Midland’s statistical area, there was a nearly-corresponding $798 million drop in the financial services industry in Fairfield County, said Lenze, who works at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“Not everyone who lives in those areas works in those industries, obviously, or benefits directly from them,” Lenze said.

“But the growth in mining accounted for $3,610 of the increase in per-capita income in Midland, while the financial services industry accounts for a $951 drop per person in Fairfield County.”

Midland’s rise to the top of the list was fueled by a 12.1 percent increase in personal income growth. And Fairfield County’s personal income growth last year? A modest 3.2 percent.

Midland is enjoying an upswing due to new technologies that are unlocking pockets of oil and natural gas. Those technologies have dropped Midland’s unemployment rate to under 4 percent, making it the lowest in Texas.

BMW sales in the Midland area have increased 50 percent more than two years ago, according to State Impact Texas.

There are three major components of personal income, Lenze said: net earnings, dividends and interest and transfer receipts. Transfer receipts are benefits like Social Security and Medicare payments, the economist said, and net earnings includes more than hourly wages. “Proprietorships and partnership income is included in that too, so this reflects the income of business owners and investors,” he said.

The Fairfield County area saw total growth of $1,969 per person between 2011 and 2012, the data show, more than half of it, $1,120 in net earnings.

While Midland saw a $5,554 increase per person during the same period, transfer receipts — government benefits — actually fell by $281. That was more than offset by the $5,700 increase in net earnings. Dividends and interest increased by $1,134 in the area of Texas that Midland comprises.



U.S. Attorneys: Multimillion-Dollar Deal in Bakken Fire

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, Factoring Companies, frac, fracking, Invoice factoring, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News- Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

A Montana man severely burned in a Bakken oil patch fire has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with a Texas company accused of providing him insufficient training and equipment, according to attorneys for the plaintiff and court documents.

Thirty-year-old Lester “Gary” Roberts of Billings received what his attorneys described Wednesday as a “substantial eight-figure sum” to resolve his lawsuit against EOG Resources Inc. of Houston. That would make the settlement worth at least $10 million, although a precise figure was not released.

Court documents show the two sides reached the deal this month, and District Judge David Cybulski dismissed the suit Tuesday.

Roberts was disfigured by burns to his head, face, hands and chest during a November 2010 fire that occurred while he was employed as a contractor at a drilling rig in Stanley, N.D., said his attorney, Clifford Edwards. He said Roberts was permanently disabled by the injuries and will never work again.

In a statement released by Edwards’ law firm, Roberts said he was grateful he could still take care of his family.

“I hope by bringing this incident to light, it will hold companies working in the Bakken accountable and remind them that safety needs to be more than a slogan on the side of a truck,” Roberts said. “The Bakken provides great opportunity for people to make a good living, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of safety.”

EOG spokeswoman Michelle Mayo said she could not immediately comment on the case.

Roberts has undergone more than a dozen surgeries and could need as many as 20 more as he continues to recover from his burns, Edwards said. He has a one-year-old daughter and is expecting a second child with his fiancee in January.

He sued EOG in March, 2012, according to court documents. Edwards said he was bound by the terms of the settlement not to identify the defendants.

The lawsuit included claims that Roberts was not sufficiently trained and lacked the required flame-retardant clothing. It said there were no working fire extinguishers on-site when the accident occurred.

All of those circumstances violated the company’s own policies, Edwards said. Roberts was not directly employed by EOG, according to court documents. But the company was in control of the drilling operation and had an employee on-site at the time of the accident, according to a March order from Cybulski in which he ruled that EOG was liable in the case.

The company that employed Roberts, EOG contractor G&C Industries, also was named as a defendant when the lawsuit originally was filed. G&C, described as an oil fields services company, was dismissed from the case in August after reaching a separate agreement with Roberts, according to court documents and G&C attorney William “Andy” Forsythe.

Details were not disclosed.

Neither company named in the suit admitted liability under the terms of their settlements, Edwards said.


‘Oil and gas play’ attracts new hotels to Carrollton

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Construction has begun for two hotels less than one mile apart along a section of state Route 43.

“It is great for the village,” Mayor Frank Leghart said. “It is economic development over and beyond what anyone expected. For a lot of years, this was a struggling area. It is going to bring a definite change to the employment status.”

One lodging facility will be an 80-room Microtel Inn & Suites in the 1000 block of Canton Road NW. Farther north will be Candlewood Suites, a 100-room hotel in the 1200 block of Canton Road NW.

Candlewood Suites was drawn to “the oil and gas play,” said Jim Bertram, representative of Corporex Capital, the Covington, Ky.-based development company putting up the hotel. “With the power plants, the oil and gas drilling and the pipeline, we thought it would be a good idea to follow them and build hotels in the area. We also are expecting to see Carrollton grow with new businesses.”

The Utica Shale formation sits under Carroll County and has attracted players in the petroleum business like Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy.

“We are excited to come to the community,” said Lori Brookshire of Sky Hospitality, a St. Petersburg, Fla., company that will manage the 80-room Microtel Inn & Suites. “Generally, when we open up a Microtel Inn & Suites, they employ 15.”

Until the arrival of Microtel Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites, the only hotel here has been Days Inn in the 1100 block of Canton Road NW.

“The two hotels are being developed because of the oil and gas industry,” said Amy Rutledge, executive director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. “There will be tourists staying there. That is part of it …. We are hoping to get more restaurants and retail on our community.”

As of the 2010 census, Carrollton’s population stood at about 3,240. Carroll County’s population is about 28,800. And some anticipate more economic growth as long as the Utica Shale remains productive.

“We have so much coming, we can’t fathom what is coming,” Carroll County Commissioner Thomas Wheaton said. “This is the tip of the iceberg of what is going to come.”

Both hotel projects are in the early phases of construction. Foundation work is under way at the Microtel complex while excavation is taking place where the Candlewood Suites will be constructed.

The Microtel will have three stories while Candlewood Suites will be a four-story complex.

As long as Carrollton’s population remains under 5,000 it remains a village under state law. While business growth is welcome, a huge swell in population is another matter, according to the mayor.

“That is not what we are striving for,” Leghart said. “We are at 3,200. That is whole lot more growth to get to that point (city status). To speculate on city status, that is not anything I want to do. We just don’t want to get swallowed up in this move, and spit out later.”

source- http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20131124/NEWS/131129618#ixzz2lhF39aZ4

Scots firms told of £100bn oil and gas opportunity

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Scottish firms have a £100 billion opportunity to benefit from the next six years of investment in oil and gas, according to the man in charge of the sector’s international strategy.

David Rennie, from Government business development agency Scottish Enterprise, said the 12-figure step-up in spending anticipated over the remainder of this decade would create countless opportunities to diversify into the supply-chain.

But he warned that aspiring companies must fully understand the safety-led, quality-focused and on-time culture of the industry before they can make inroads and secure orders.

He will lead a seminar focused on access to the oil and gas industry in Dundee this week, one of two taking place outside the sector’s north-east stronghold as Scottish Enterprise seeks to encourage more expertise into the sector.

Mr Rennie cited a study by industry body Oil & Gas UK which identified a likely spend in excess of £100bn in the UK by 2020.

A more conservative assessment of published potential projects put the figure at around £88bn.

“I don’t think enough people understand that there are lots of companies across Scotland who are winning and doing business in oil and gas.

“But these are companies that are doing other things and who want to do more, or get into oil and gas,” he said.

“It is focused on Aberdeen but if you look down the east coast, and even into Glasgow and Ayrshire, more and more companies are winning and doing business in oil and gas.”

The Scottish Enterprise seminar, at the city’s Apex Hotel on Thursday, will feature Dundee’s Galloway Group and Kirriemuir firm J&D Wilkie, both of whom have made moves into oil and gas in recent years.

It is one of a string of steps being taken by the body, including dedicated company support and meet-the-buyer events.

Mr Rennie said he hoped to help other firms “get to know” what was required by the industry, as he seeks to broaden and deepen the supply chain.

“Increasingly, the money spent in oil and gas is not spent by the big names like BP — it’s spent at the next level down,” he said. “These are the companies who will do most of the contracting and sub-contracting.

“We’ve got to break it down a bit, but it’s almost a given that there must be opportunities for companies to win business, if you can prove your quality systems, your health and safety, and your approach to meeting deadlines.”

He added: “It’s challenging and there are standards that have to be met — but if you can get over how oil and gas works, and you buy into the approach on safety, quality and timescales, then actually the size of the prize could be huge.

“But companies have to go in with their eyes wide open.

“You have to be aware of that culture and how it all works. If you don’t buy into that, then it’s going to be very difficult to get business out of the oil and gas sector.”



Helms: State’s daily oil production will double by 2017

Posted in: Bakken Labor Staffing News, Bakken Oilfield Financing News, frac, fracking, Invoice factoring, Labor News, Oilfield Business Financing, Oilfield News- Sep 27, 2013 No Comments

DICKINSON, N.D. — North Dakota’s daily oil production will double to 1.6 million barrels by 2017, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said in a taped address to oil county and industry folks Thursday.

Helms also discussed the increasing need for well maintenance water, which he predicts will eclipse the need for fracking water, and new exploration in the Tyler Formation at the annual meeting of the North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties in Dickinson. But the projections got the biggest reaction from the crowd.

“Every place is stable or inclining in well count, in jobs, in economic impacts,” Helms said.

“This puts us in a mode where those risk factors don’t really come home to roost in North Dakota and we hit mid-2017 at about a million-and-a-half barrels a day.”

He also talked of a new need for water — for well maintenance.

The need for fracking water is well-known, he said. “But what we’re beginning to realize is that these Bakken wells will need freshwater for maintenance over their life.”

Operators are finding that when salt precipitation in wellbores causes production decline, it can be solved by putting freshwater down the well weekly, Helms said.

When that is factored into water use projections, maintenance water use exceeds frac water use.

“So we’re in the process of trying to find a way to recycle … produced water safely so that we can use produced water for fracking and save our freshwater resources for maintenance,” Helms said.

Billings County highway superintendent Jeff Iverson said both the water use and oil production projections were “staggering.”

“The figures that he brought in obviously are staggering for oil production,” said Duane Dukart of Houston Engineering.

Helms labeled natural gas flaring as the No. 1 challenge for state regulators, and said he’s begun a conversation with the North Dakota Industrial Commission about policy changes that could help decrease flaring.

- See more at: http://www.bakkentoday.com/event/article/id/35412/#sthash.LGHiN3Bk.dpuf