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Page 2 ■ Thursday, April 19, 2012


By CATHERINE TSAI Associated Press


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DENVER — Infrastructure chal- lenges in western North Dakota could limit the number of oil and gas drilling rigs in the Bakken system’s rich Williston Basin, industry executives said April 12 at a conference. As companies have fl ocked to tap

Eberhart called the infrastructure issues “dire.” “Some roads are literally crumbling.

You’ve got potholes that could eat a truck,” he said. North Dakota has been responsive in

resources there, heavy equipment has overwhelmed roads while workers have fi lled up available housing. The prob- lem is more acute in North Dakota than Montana, said Mark Williams, senior vice president of exploration and devel- opment at Whiting Petroleum Corp. There are close to 220 drilling rigs

in the Williston Basin. “We could easily double the number of rigs, purely based on resources,” Williams said. However, he guessed growth could be capped at 300 rigs in the next few years until infrastructure can catch up. “The North Dakota infrastructure is

stressed,” Williams said. “It’s diffi cult to move oil fi eld services in this part of the basin.” Frontier Energy Group CEO Dan


Carbo Ceramics plans $25M proppant plant in North Dakota

PO Box 5516

Bismarck, ND 58506-5516 701-223-2500 Bakken Weekly is produced

by the Bismarck Tribune and distributed throughout the Williston Basin.

Carbo Ceramics proppant

ton company said it’s planning a $25 million proppant distribution facil- ity near Gladstone, in western North Dakota.


will be the company’s largest distribution operation for proppant — tiny ceramic balls used by drillers to increase the recovery of crude. Offi cials said the plant could employ up to 25 workers. Carbo said the facility could open next year.

The Carbo Ceramics Inc. plant

devoting money to improve roads, with state legislators approving a massive in- vestment last year, Eberhart said. Finding places to put employees — whether for work or sleep — also is a challenge, he said. Eberhart and Williams spoke at the

BAKKEN BREAKOUT WEEKLY Infrastructure could limit Bakken work

company can drill underground, and weaving 2,000 new horizontal wells be- tween 5,200 vertical wells. Though the Niobrara is gas-rich,

Anadarko has found a well whose pro- duction is about two-thirds oil and one- third gas. With oil prices doing far better than natural gas, Anadarko is trying to fi nd more like it. Bugosh also acknowledged environ-

Platts Rockies Oil and Gas Conference in Denver. Meanwhile, the hot Niobrara forma-

tion centered in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska faces its own challenges. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is drill- ing about 80,000 barrels of a day in the Wattenberg fi eld north of Denver, with 20 percent growth expected this year, Anadarko sub-surface manager Scott Bugosh said. However, the Wattenberg fi eld is in a

much more populated area than North Dakota. Under issues classifi ed as “what keeps us up at night,” Bugosh listed ur- ban sprawl, surface access to land so the

mental concerns in a state that relies on its mountains, streams and plains for tourism and recreation. “We’re in Ameri- ca’s playground,” he said. “We don’t want to mess it up.” Industry offi cials said they are work-

ture and profi tably sell natural gas that is fl ared off into the air during oil opera- tions. Especially in North Dakota, a lack of enough infrastructure to collect, move and process natural gas that’s extracted along with oil at every well can make it more economically attractive to let the gas escape into the air.

North Dakota oil town might ban living in

campers WILLISTON (AP) — People living in campers in the

heart of North Dakota’s oil patch might soon be asked to pack up and roll along. The Williston City Commission has approved the fi rst

reading of an ordinance that would make it illegal to live in an RV in city limits. The law would make it a Class B misde- meanor, subject to a $500 fi ne. The ordinance will come up again in two weeks. Willis-

ton Police Chief James Lokken estimates that there are 300 to 400 campers throughout the city. Williston Mayor Ward Koeser said the city has been in-

undated with people coming into town for work without a place to live. The housing problem is prevalent through- out western North Dakota, where some communities have banned temporary oil-worker housing.

ing on lowering emissions, recycling wa- ter, reusing existing well pads and roads and reducing truck traffi c. They also are looking for ways to cap-

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