Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers have approved a complex energy bill related to “pore space,” but some who opposed the property rights legislation say it will end up in court or referred to voters. House members voted 66-24 Wednesday, April 17, to approve Senate Bill 2344, which seeks to clear up issues related to pore space, which describes the cavity or void in underground rock formations. “We think that with this bill, we have the opportunity to protect surface owners as well as the operators,” said Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck.
BISMARCK -- A project to capture carbon dioxide from a western North Dakota ethanol plant continues to advance as researchers work to better understand the geology below the facility. Red Trail Energy in Richardton proposes to capture carbon dioxide rather than emit it into the atmosphere and inject it deep underground, reducing the carbon footprint of the ethanol plant to meet West Coast fuel standards. The company recently completed a geophysical survey of eight square miles around the plant.
MARMARTH, N.D. — A pipeline spill from an enhanced oil recovery system in Bowman County has contaminated Kid Creek, a North Dakota Department of Health official said Thursday, Feb. 14. Denbury Onshore reported about 75 barrels, or 3,150 gallons, of source water spilled on Feb. 7 about 10 miles south of Marmarth in the far southwest corner of the state. Source water is groundwater used for enhanced oil recovery that contains a higher level of dissolved solids and minerals than fresh water, but is lower in chlorides than produced water, the health department said.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a siting permit on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, granting approval for as many as 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton. The project by NextEra Energy Resources will have a capacity of about 298 megawatts and will include a 6.85-mile transmission line in Emmons County. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the project has strong support from community members and landowners in the area.
The U.S. Forest Service is working to update its oil and gas leasing direction for the Little Missouri National Grassland, a document that hasn’t been updated since the Bakken oil boom was in its infancy. Changes proposed in the draft supplemental environmental impact statement would only affect 216,300 acres that are available for leasing but currently not leased. Lands that are already leased by oil and gas companies would not be affected unless those leases expire. The agency is considering three options: • Continue leasing with the current stipulations.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's land commissioner cautioned Thursday, Aug. 30, that the energy and agriculture industries could see significant delays to obtain easements for state-owned lands under a change in administrative process directed by the Legislature. Commissioner Jodi Smith said the state Department of Trust Lands is working on new administrative rules as directed by lawmakers last session, but finding some unintended consequences.
BISMARCK—New figures from the U.S. Department of Energy show North Dakota as a leading state for wind energy development. North Dakota added 249 megawatts of wind capacity in 2017, ranking eighth in the nation, according to the department's 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report released last week. The state had a total of 2,996 megawatts of wind capacity at the end of 2017, the report said, making North Dakota 11th in the country for the total amount of wind capacity installed.
BISMARCK—The National Weather Service is taking steps to improve weather radar coverage for western North Dakota after a deadly tornado in Watford City raised awareness of gaps in coverage. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has committed to studying whether the Minot radar system can be adjusted to improve coverage in western North Dakota, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Thursday.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is launching a new program to help landowners resolve concerns related to wind energy development. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced Monday the creation of a wind energy restoration and reclamation oversight program, similar to an initiative developed in 2015 related to pipeline construction. The program will allow a landowner or tenant who is dissatisfied by the response of a wind energy company related to reclamation of their property to work with a Department of Agriculture ombudsman.
DICKINSON, N.D. -- The owner of a small crude oil refinery in western North Dakota is proposing to convert the facility to process vegetable oil instead of petroleum to produce renewable diesel. Andeavor, formerly known as Tesoro, plans to export the renewable diesel to California, where the product is in high demand.