Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday appointed Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund to be the next deputy adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard. Becklund currently serves as executive director for the North Dakota Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in Grand Forks. Becklund replaces Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, who Dalrymple appointed to serve as the state's adjutant general last year.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — The public will be asked for input next week on alternatives for the proposed four-laning of U.S. Highway 85 south of Watford City, but none of the options include maintaining a two-lane highway through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Some conservation advocates have argued against expanding Highway 85 for a 7-mile stretch in the sensitive Badlands area that crosses the North Unit of the park and the Little Missouri Scenic River.
WASHINGTON — North Dakota's top oil regulator told members of a House subcommittee Wednesday that proposed federal regulations would harm the state's ability to reduce natural gas flaring. Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, was among six panelists who testified before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing focused on the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of energy during the Obama administration.
TIOGA, N.D. - Oil well pads are getting bigger in western North Dakota as companies figure out how to get the most oil out of the Bakken. Hess Corp. has the Bakken's largest well pad with 18 wells on a single location, but the state's top oil regulator says he expects to see mega-pads get even larger. "At any time in the not too distant future, their record is going to be eclipsed," said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources.
ROSS, N.D. — The oilfield worker who died Monday after being struck by equipment has been identified as Paul William Green II, 36, of Alger, Mich., the Mountrail County Sheriff's Office said. Green was pronounced dead at a well site about 4½ miles northeast of Ross after a deputy responded to a 911 call about 11 p.m. Monday.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. - An autopsy shows that an oilfield worker who died Saturday was killed as the result of a fall, the second time a worker for the same company has been hurt in a fall in the past eight months. State Forensic Medical Examiner William Massello III listed the cause of death for 52-year-old Johnny Stassinos as blunt chest, abdominal and pelvic injuries that resulted from a falling from a height associated with a petroleum site explosion near Watford City.
WILLISTON, N.D. — City leaders in Williston are trying to figure out how to respond to a judge's ruling on crew camps that may have some unintended consequences. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled this week that Williston cannot enforce its ordinance on temporary housing until further notice, a victory for crew camp operators who challenged the city's July 1 ban on worker housing.
ROSS, N.D. -- A safety official called this "a tragic week in the Bakken" after an oil worker died at a well site in Mountrail County, the second North Dakota oilfield fatality in three days. A 36-year-old employee of Advanced Energy LLC was crushed by a crane boom near Ross about 10:30 p.m. Monday, said Eric Brooks, area director of the Bismarck OSHA office. The man, who is from Michigan, was not immediately identified.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Co-workers of the men involved in Saturday's oilfield explosion that killed one and injured three are raising money for medical bills and other expenses. "The guys that are going through this, they're still not out of the woods," said April Crites of Wyoming, whose husband works with the men who were injured. "Everybody's reaching out to lend a hand." Crites established a fundraiser on YouCaring.com to help the families affected by Saturday's incident. She plans to split the money equally among the four families and set a goal of $20,000.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- As Evan Whiteford drives around the Bakken, he can easily spot pipelines with poor quality work. "Once you notice it, you'll see it everywhere," said Whiteford, pointing to pathways of sparse or dead vegetation. But in other areas, the former pipeliner points out past construction zones where vegetation is flourishing on the pipeline right-of-way. "If it's good, you can drive right by it and not even know it's there," he said.