April 3, 2012: Obama administration announces plans to expedite permitting process -- digital process, rather than pen and ink. Current process averages 298 days to approve a permit. New digital process should drop average time to 60 days or less. Note: this is an administrative change; it will not affect policies such as fracking (see original post). At least now an operator will know in two months, rather than a year, if the permit is denied.
Some months ago there were rumors that the native Americans in North Dakota wanted fracking stopped on their reservations. It turns out this rumor had some basis in fact: but it was not the native Americans in the Bakken, but rather those in the Turtle Mountains.
A tribal grassroots organization that urged their local government to ban hydraulic fracturing from happening on their reservation proved to be successful in their endeavors.This was a non-story. There is no oil under the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota. [See first comment. I stand corrected. I should have used this link: "The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Dec. 14 lease sale for 45,000 acres in Rolette County is outside North Dakota’s existing oil patch. State records show no oil has ever been produced in the county, but some tribal members believe advanced horizontal drilling techniques and hydraulic fracturing could spur development on Indian land and threaten water sources."]
At an open public meeting Tuesday morning, the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council passed a resolution that would ban hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" on the reservation.
But this next story is real. It looks like Barack's latest moratorium (BLM) might soon occur in the Bakken.
The chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes asked a congressional subcommittee Tuesday to help stop the Bureau of Land Management from implementing its proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing.If the BLM goes ahead with "federal fracking rules" we will have another opportunity for the Bakken to provide a laboratory test. In this case, we will be able to see how BLM fracking rules affect about a fifth of the Bakken activity in North Dakota compared to state rules.
Tex Hall told members of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies in Washington, D.C., that the BLM's proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, will hurt energy development on Indian reservations.
"MHA (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara) and every other oil and gas tribe in the country was shocked to learn that the BLM is planning to implement new requirements for oil and gas-related fracturing activities on our reservations, especially in light of the fact that the BLM currently has no staffing for this new activity, no standardized process and no proposed system for processing and approving these plans.
This is exactly the type of federal mismanagement of oil and gas resources that tribes have been complaining about for at least the last four years," Hall told the subcommittee members.
The BLM draft proposed fracking rule has not been released to the public yet.
The two most prolific Bakken oil fields are the Sanish and the Parshall. About one-third of the Parshall, EOG-owned, is inside the reservation [changed from original post]. The Sanish, Whiting-owned, is mostly outside the reservation.
I believe nearly 100 percent of WPX's activity in North Dakota is inside the reservation, and that KOG has a significant amount of their activity inside the reservation. The reservation in general has some of the best prospects in the Bakken. [Comment: original posting incorrectly said XTO instead of WPX; that was my error. WPX -- formerly WMB -- bought 7 percent of the reservation, and I think that's where the bulk of WPX activity is in the Bakken -- inside the reservation. A reader caught that error. Thank you. XTO has some activity inside the reservation but most activity outside the reservation. A long, long time ago I blogged about a new pipeline that benefited XTO and KOG in Heart Butte and that's why my mind slipped on XTO vs WPX. Corrected Sunday, April 1, 2012, for those keeping score.]
And so it goes.
BLM: Barack's latest moratorium. Slow-rolling the oil and gas industry.
These are the fields with some or most of the field inside the reservation:
Parshall (the south 1/3)
Deep Water Creek Bay