The 2,600 attendees at this week's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference stand and applaud at the conclusion of remarks delivered by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
U.S. Production Reduces Global Tension
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo believes domestic oil production is a force for good in the world, and he has harsh words for the Biden administration's actions that have undermined the U.S. oil industry.
As the keynote speaker at this week's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Pompeo said "the Russians and the Saudis are thrilled" that Biden placed a moratorium on any new oil-related operations on federal lands. He noted the irony that the Trump administration was accused of being soft on Russia, but the restrictions Biden has placed on American capacity to develop on its own energy resources "is the biggest gift one can give to (Russian President) Vladimir Putin."
Pompeo said when oil demand fell due to the Wuhan virus, he was "fully engaged with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia" and other oil-producing countries, "sending a clear message that we were going to protect and preserve our industry" and to stabilize the market. He said energy producers in the United States keep Americans safe and secure, and contribute to the security of other nations as well.
Pompeo told a story from a time he was in Belarus, which is heavily dependent on Russia for its supply of crude oil but was being squeezed by the high price the Russians were charging. He said he made a simple statement at a press conference that America stands ready to deliver its crude oil to Belarus at any time.
"Putin was not happy," Pompeo said. "At the very least, he was gonna have to sell at a cheaper price."
Pompeo said he hoped the statement would gain market share for the United States, and in fact a North Dakota company delivered the first American ship of petroleum products into Belarus. He said it reduced the country's geopolitical risk, and created the "opportunity for Belarusian people to live in a country that was more like the democracy that we know and love. You all did that that."
The former CIA Director also addressed the "hegemonic power" threat from the Chinese Communist Party, which imports 60 percent of the energy it uses. Pompeo said the Chinese were applauding when the United States under Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord.
The Chinese "have no intention of complying, even with their silly promises for 2050 and 2060," Pompeo said. "Make no mistake about it, they welcome the United States abandoning the competition for producing energy around the world, and we cannot allow that to continue to go on."
Pompeo also argued that the intentions behind Biden's climate crusade are far from sincere.
"These progressive clean energy processes, these proposals, are a little bit about energy, and a little bit about climate, and a lot about control," he said.
Pompeo said the Biden administration wants to change the way Americans think about "this amazing nation, this most exceptional nation in the history of civilization." He said they want more power, more control and more regulation. Pompeo said it will deny Americans the ability to live their lives the way they choose, and he encouraged the audience to resist.
"You also know I am counting on each and every one of you to push back against the efforts to undermine what's at the core of American Greatness, our capacity for entrepreneurs, innovators and families to worship and work in the way that they choose," he concluded. "When we do that, when we defend that with all of our might, no one in our federal government, not the Chinese Communist Party, has the capacity to undermine what has made our nation so special."
Pipeline Expansion Ready by End of Year
The executive chairman of the company that operates the Dakota Access Pipeline told attendees at this week's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference that the 1,176-mile crude oil pipeline will continue to move oil out of the Bakken in spite of demands that the flow be stopped while an environmental review is conducted.
"We're not shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline," said Kelcy Warren. "It's not gonna happen."
The crude oil pipeline began operation in June 2017, having met all the construction permitting requirements in the law. But a federal judge subsequently ruled that the pipeline's Missouri River crossing between Morton and Emmons County should have been subject to an Environmental Impact Statement rather than the less-comprehensive environmental analysis. The judge's ruling effectively invalidates DAPL's river crossing easement, and litigants led by the extremist group Earthjustice have demanded it be shut down while the EIS is completed.
Warren said despite the judge's ruling, he believes common sense dictates the pipeline's operation will be allowed to continue.
Click here to listen to Warren's comments.
While the litigation against the existing pipeline was underway, Dakota Access LLC was pursuing an "optimization" project that will expand the takeaway capacity of the pipeline from the current 570,000 barrels per day to more than 1 million barrels. The company has obtained approval of the project from all four states in which additional pumping capacity will be added, and Warren said it will be ready to go by the end of the year.
Click here to listen to Warren's comments.
Warren was also asked about the recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. He said DAPL has experienced similar cyberattacks and has hardened its facilities including bullet-proof glass in its control rooms.
Warren has long advocated about the need for the industry to better educate the public about the benefits that pipelines deliver. Click here to read an article on the subject in WDEA's Sept. 6, 2019 newsletter.
Click here to read a Williston Herald article about Warren's remarks.
"It May Seem Like a Moonshot, But It's Doable"
Governor Doug Burgum laid out a challenge to North Dakota's carbon-intensive industries that to most probably seems impossible. He wants the state to pursue the goal of becoming "carbon neutral" by the end of the current decade.
In remarks delivered at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Burgum said it "may seem like a moonshot, but it's actually not, this is completely doable." He told the crowd of oil industry attendees the state is already making strides with capturing carbon dioxide and carbon sequestration.
Click here to listen to Burgum's comments.
Burgum, who frequently points out that his approach to problem-solving is "innovation, not regulation," chastised the federal government for imposing policies that discourage the use of fossil fuels. He also decried the current ESG Movement (Environmental, Social and Governance) which discourages investment in the fossil fuel industry. Burgum said the financial community should be investing more in fossil fuels, not less.
Click here to listen to Burgum's comments.
Near the conclusion of his remarks, Burgum said the carbon neutral challenge goes out not just to the industry, but also to legislators and appropriators. He pointed out his budget proposal provided more for research than was ultimately funded by the 2021 Legislature.
"If our state is going to get 50% of its revenues from this industry, we need to invest more back into partnering with industry on the research to help solve these problems which will help us change the world," Burgum said.
Click here to read more about Burgum's challenge in the Bismarck Tribune, here for KFYR-TV's story about energy plants on pace to be carbon neutral by 2022, and here for a KXMB-TV story about the governor's speech.
Biden Responsible for Surge in Gasoline Prices
The chairman of Continental Resources believes a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline that led to gasoline shortages in the southeastern United States was an act of terrorism perpetrated by a foreign enemy.
Harold Hamm shared his thoughts on the state of the industry in a "fireside chat" with ND Petroleum Council President Ron Ness at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. Hamm was critical of the Biden administration for initially ignoring the seriousness of crime.
Click here to listen to Hamm's comments.
Colonial Pipeline was able to restore normal operations on Wednesday. Hamm noted that Continental and the midstream companies with which he does business are regularly subjected to thousands of cyber attacks on their internal computer operations.
Hamm also criticized Biden's approach to energy policy, comparing him to former President Jimmy Carter. Although Biden backers argue that his federal leasing moratorium and other actions against the oil industry are not to blame for the run-up in gasoline prices, Hamm said the evidence is clear that Biden is responsible.
Click here to listen to Hamm's comments.
Hamm said Continental isn't planning any major increases in drilling despite improving oil prices. "We're not doing a big ramp up, but we are getting back to business," he said.
Hamm also reiterated previous statements that the oil industry will be needed for many decades to come. Contrary to some who argue the era of fossil fuels is in decline, Hamm believes the world has not yet reached peak oil demand.
Click here to read an article about the re-start of the Colonial Pipeline.
Production Rebounding from Downturn
Following what was mainly a winter-related drop in February, North Dakota oil production climbed back over 1.1 million barrels a day in March.
Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, said March production increased an average of about 25,000 barrels a day, coming in at 1,108,441 bbl/day. Helms said completion activity was buoyed by much-improved oil prices, which he said are currently averaging about 12 percent above the legislature's revenue forecast.
Click here to listen to Helms' comments.
Helms said with crude prices remaining around $60/barrel, he's optimist the state will see further increases in daily production into the summer months.
Click here to listen to Helms' comments.
Helms said the remarkable thing about the March production figures was a big surge in natural gas, but he said the state's gas capture rate actually improved to 94% during the month.
Click here to listen to Helms' comments.
Helms said the industry recovery will be further supplemented by additional well reclamation work this summer. He said the 2021 Legislature appropriated $6 million for the remaining work that was not completed last year with the use of CARES Act dollars for virus relief.
Click here to read Helms' Director's Cut.
Promotes Climate Realism and Energy Basics
A newly-published book by well-known climate skeptic Marc Morano describes in factual detail the fallacy behind the Green New Deal and the notion that the world can run on renewable energy.
The 256-page book, entitled Green Fraud: Why the Green New Deal Is Even Worse than You Think, says "the Green New Deal is not green. It’s not new. And it’s not a good deal for America.”
Robert Bradley, publisher of the free market energy blog Master Resource, published a review of the book this week. Bradley writes that green energy promoters such as John Holdren, Bill Nye, Bill McKibben and Joe Biden come in for a shellacking in the book. But he said teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get the most mentions of all.
Bradley describes the author Morano as "a celebrity for the calm, reasoned side of the climate and energy debates." Morano established the Drudge-like website Climate Depot, which is a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Bradley's review provides excerpts from flipping pages to read certain parts of the book. Among them he notes:
*“Where is Fertilizer, Cement, Plastic Going to Come From?” It is about Bill Gates at a 2018 Stanford University Energy Forum calling out the modelers for a lack of realism about energy supply and demand.
*Data on tornadoes and hurricanes. Expect every example of extreme weather to be reported in the mainstream media as either the result of or consistent with man-made climate change.
*“Woke and Weeping Climate Scientists.” Examples of government scientists all-in on the politics, who cannot think in terms of economics, entrepreneurship, and adaptation. And ignorant scientists who do not (chose not) to understand Energy 101.
Bradley concludes by arguing that anyone who wants to understand the U.S. political debate over climate change should read the book.
Grants Support Bike, Pedestrian Paths
The ND Department of Transportation announced the award of nearly $3 million in transportation alternatives funding this week for projects to be constructed in 2023 and 2024.
The projects include pedestrian and bicycle facilities, Safe Routes to School projects, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation projects. The grants are made possible through a federally funded program and are administered by the NDDOT.
“These grants are designed to increase safety and promote healthy lifestyles by providing active transportation options to North Dakota communities,” said DOT Director Bill Panos. “The projects will play a vital role in improving the quality of life for local residents.”
Projects in western North Dakota include:
Minot – Bel Air Elementary School Safe Routes to School ($290,000)
Minot – Washington Elementary School Safe Routes to School ($258,151)
Fargo – Bison Village/10th Street North shared-use path ($137,251)
Williston – 42nd Street pedestrian facilities ($137,251)
Bowman – 2023-2024 Safe Sidewalk ($200,000)
Belfield – 2023-2024 Safe Sidewalk and shared-use path ($200,000)
Click here for more information about NDDOT’s Transportation Alternatives program.
NDPC Partnering with Univ of Mary on Effort
The ND Petroleum Council is partnering with the University of Mary Workforce Development Department and Envision Partners to launch a Leadership and Management Certification Program.
The program provides rising and current leaders with a professional development experience. All nine courses in the program are complemented by executive coaching sessions for those choosing to complete the entire series. The classes will be delivered through distance learning via the Zoom platform. The University of Mary will award participants with a Leadership and Management Plaque upon successful completion of all courses. Participants can also pick and choose courses and take them a la carte.
The first class focuses on Environmental, Social & Governance Training, a hot topic for the fossil fuel industry, which is threatened by the inexplicable lack of investment in an essential resource. The second class involves the transition from peer to manager. Many companies want to reward their "rock star" employees through internal promotion, but there are pitfalls which the class will explore.
2021 Class Topics & Dates (all times CDT)
- ESG – May 19, 26, June 2, 16: 1- 5 pm (2-day training)
- Peer to Manager – June 15 or June 17: 1 -5 pm (4-hour training)
- Engaging Leader – June 23, 30, July 7, 14: 1– 5 pm (2-day training)
- Conflict Management – Aug 17 or 19: 1 – 5 pm (4-hour training)
- Emerging Leader – Sept 1, 8, 15, 22: 1 – 5 pm (2-day training)
- Delegation – Sept 28 or 30: 1 – 5 pm (4-hour training)
- Strategic Leader – Oct 6, 13, 20, 27: 1 – 5 pm (2-day training)
- Inclusion & Diversity – Nov 9, 23, 30, Dec 7: 1 – 5 pm (2-day training)
- Effective Workplace Communication – Dec 14 or 16: 1 – 5 pm
For more information including cost of registration, click here.
Applications Now Being Accepted
The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation Scholarship Fund was established last year by local businesses and individuals to support graduating high school seniors living within the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
The FBIR Scholarship Fund has a goal of awarding multiple annual scholarships of $1,000 each.
Fund supporters announced this week that they are now taking applications for the program. Applications must be completed online by June 20. Scholarships can be used for any formalized continuing education after high school.
Click here to view the available scholarships and all the requirements for the FBIR Scholarship Fund.
Click here to submit an application.
Vision West Endowment Taking Applications
Applications for the next round of grants from the Vision West ND Foundation will open on May 15.
The Foundation Committee has made $8,000 available to fund community or organization projects. In the last round, grant awards ranged from $1,000 to $1,500. The deadline for submission is June 30.
The Vision West ND Foundation created the grant program to support the activities of the areas served by the consortium. There are two funds:
*A project-oriented non-endowed account established so funds can be easily accessed for projects and operations.
*A sustaining endowment established to use the interest earned to serve communities over the long term.
The mission is to award grants that contribute to the well-being of the communities within the Vision West ND region. All consortium members in good standing are eligible to apply.
Click here to view the community grants process and the grant criteria.
- Pipelines and recovery key topics on the 2nd day of WBPC -- KFYR-TV
- Dakota Access executive says pipeline has faced cyberattacks -- Bismarck Tribune
- More legal wrangling plays out in Dakota Access Pipeline dispute -- Bismarck Tribune
- Court denies DAPL request amid wait on shutdown order -- Bismarck Tribune
- Are DAPL and Keystone also susceptible to cyber attacks? -- KFYR-TV
- Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack -- Associated Press
- U.S. considering Jones Act waiver after pipeline hack -- Fargo Forum
- EXPLAINER: What’s next for pipelines after Colonial hack -- Associated Press
- SayAnything Blog: Gosh, maybe we need more pipelines? -- SayAnything Blog
- Enerplus lays out Bakken battle plans where it has quadrupled holdings -- Williston Herald
- Whitmer threatens profit seizure if pipeline keeps operating -- Associated Press
- Enbridge defies Michigan governor’s order to close pipeline -- Associated Press
- A look at the Bakken: Production sees upturns and downturns -- Minot Daily News
- Northern Oil grows output as more Bakken curtailments eased -- NGI
- ND utilities could face legal risks during rampant wildfire season -- Dickinson Press
- Xcel Energy strikes deal to purchase low-emissions gas in Colorado -- Reuters
- Governor Burgum signs five new bills and partially vetoes one -- KXMB-TV
- Wind farm proposed near Bowman could include battery storage -- Bismarck Tribune
- Lawmakers to choose study topics that may inspire bills -- Associated Press
- Lawmakers hope Legacy Fund innovation will help ND's energy future -- Williston Herald
- Bismarck businessman elected to lead North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party -- Bismarck Tribune
- North Dakota Capitol to be used as courtroom for two trials -- Associated Press
- Officials chart merger of ND Health, Human Services agencies -- Bismarck Tribune
- North Dakota’s rock library evolves to meet energy industry needs -- Bismarck Tribune
- ND District 2 legislators recap the 'grueling' 2021 session -- The Journal
- North Dakota boosts funding for addiction treatment program -- Dickinson Press
- North Dakota prepares to vaccinate everyone 12 years old and up -- KX News
- Teachers, new school district still negotiating for next school year -- Williston Herald
- ADM to build $350M soybean plant, refine product in Dickinson -- Associated Press
- Work at Williston Square progress as projects begin to pick up -- Williston Herald
- Union analysis concludes ND still a dangerous place for workers -- Bismarck Tribune
- Gov. Burgum announces end to federal unemployment aid -- Associated Press
- North Dakota Beef Commission searches for state’s best burger -- KFYR-TV
- Three ND projects receive EPA "Brownfield" support -- Prairie Public Radio
- 35th Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering set for May 28-29 in Medora -- Sidney Herald
- New report warns U.S. challenged to meet demand for rare earth minerals -- Inside Sources
- Diversified Energy to keep growing U.S. natgas output by acquisitions -- Reuters
- Analysis: Cyberattack exposes lack of required defenses on U.S. pipelines -- Reuters
- Panic buying sends U.S. gasoline to near 7-year high -- OilPrice.com
- Bonanza Creek Energy to buy Extraction Oil & Gas in $1.1 billion all-stock deal -- Reuters
- Texas Governor.: Climate litigation an "abusive" use of the law -- Energy In Depth
- ESG Investing: It's really just politics by other means -- RealClear Energy
- Don't tell anybody but frackers went on a hiring spree -- Bloomberg Opinion
- Saudi oil spokesman addresses diplomacy, destabilizing influence of Iran -- Valley News Live
- Energy Sec. Granholm calls current situation "supply crunch," not "gas shortage" -- American Thinker
Factoid of the Week
Source: Pipeline 101
Virtual and In-Person
Bismarck State College
Eagle Ridge Golf Course and The Links of ND
May 14, 2021
WTI Crude: $64.90
Brent Crude: $68.28
Natural Gas: $2.96
North Dakota Active Oil Rigs: 18 (Up 2) 5/14/2020 -- 15 rigs