Upper Rocky Mountain
Spot Crude Oil Prices
Colorado Western: $85.89
CO North Central: $91.46
WB Mixed Sweet: $87.12
ND Light Sweet: $92.22
Wyoming Sweet: $91.74
N Wyo. / S Mont.: $90.25
Spot prices updated March 7
Daily Cash Market
Spot Natural Gas Prices
Watford City, ND: $4.33
NGPL South TX: $4.61
Malin, OR: $4.61
PG & E City Gate, CA: $5.05
Northwest WY: $4.51
Opal, SW WY: $4.62
Ventura, IA: $10.65
U.S. Rig Count
+23 from 2/28/2014
+40 from 3/7/2013
Pull High Bids
A 21-acre tract in Montana’s Richland County drew the highest bid of $2,700 an acre from Stewart Geological, Inc. of Billings at the state oil and gas lease sale conducted on March 4.
The tract is located in Sec. 8, T26N-R59E, and the high bid totaled $58,509.
The small sale only took in $1.6 million, with bids averaging $266 per acre for oil and gas leases on 6,012 acres auctioned off by the Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation in Helena.
The second highest bid was also in Richland County, where JBLS Montana Inc. of Billings paid $2,350/acre for 640 acres, for a total of $1.5 million in Sec. 16, T26N-R59E.
Comet Ridge Montana LLC was high bidder in Blaine County, paying $46/acre for 640 acres in Sec. 36, T35N-R20E. It also paid $1.50/acre for 640 acres in the same county for tracts in the same section.
In Sheridan County, JBLS paid $5/acre for 640-acres in Sec. 36, T31N-R57E. The six remaining tracts in Big Horn, Powder River, and Sheridan counties drew the minimum low bid of $1.50/acre.
New Rail Safety
New voluntary rail safety initiatives that call for slowing down the speed of crude oil unit trains to 40 mph as they pass through cities, along with an effort to equip trains with more effective braking systems by April 1 were announced.
The Assn. of American Railroads announced the new efforts reached after talks with the US Dept of Transportation. “We worked together to swiftly pinpoint new operating practices that enhance the safety of moving crude oil by rail,” Edward Hamberger, president and CEO of the AAR.
BNSF Railway announced earlier that it plans to replace 5,000 tanker cars with newer upgraded cars. The company said it strongly supports the new voluntary commitments to further reduce risk in the movement of crude oil by rail.
Unit trains move as much as 800,000 BOPD out of North Dakota and in the cities of Fargo and Bismarck, the rail speed limit is 35 mph.
The railroad industry will also use special software to make sure crude rail shipments are moved on the safest routes possible and will also develop specific training for first responders to deal with crude-rail accidents.
There has been more pressure urged by the oil industry for the DOT to develop safe standards following the Dec. 30 mishap near Casselton, ND, when a railcar loaded with soybeans rammed into a passing crude oil unit train.
Top Executives Featured
At MT Oil Conference
Colin Marshal, president and CEO of Cloud Peak Energy, and David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources, are just of two of several top executives taking part in the Montana Energy 2014 conference and trade show in Billings April 1 –3.
Also scheduled to speak are: Thomas B. Nusz, present and CEO of Oasis Petroleum; James J. Volker, chairman and CEO of Whiting Petroleum; Kevin Burdick, vice president of ONEOK; Tad True, vice president of Belle Fourche-Bridger Pipelines; and Duane Rae, president of Spectra Energy Liquids.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event at the MetraPark Expo Center, 308 Sixth Ave. N., where there will several presentations on the latest developments in oil and gas exploration, hydraulic fracturing, financing, alternative energy projects, new business opportunities, and the natural gas market.
Also participating in the program is Niles Hushka, president and CEO of KLJ, one of the event sponsors, and Dave Galt, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Assn.
To register or exhibit, click here.
Halliburton Donates To
Wyoming Research Center
Halliburton donated $3 million to the University of Wyoming for a new energy research complex at the Cheyenne campus. Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar made the formal presentation of the funds.
The Halliburton donation puts the total donated funds from the energy industry for the High Bay Research Facility at $13 million. Another $2 million is needed for the 60,000 square-foot building, which will be completed in 2016.
Other companies that have donated to the project are: Hess Corp., ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Corp, Ultra Petroleum, Baker Hughes, and Shell Oil.
The research facility will include a digital rock physics lab, a geomechanics lab, a core-flood facility, and a structural engineering lab.
The crew of Angel Energy Service of Crosby, ND ties down a workover rig on a new location just north of Crosby. The crew includes Hirden Hitchcock, David Wagner, and Nyal Allen. (Photo by Denis Smith)
April 2 – 3: Montana Energy 2014 at MetraPark Expo Center, Billings, MT.
Montana Energy 2014 is billed as the only energy event in the state which is sanctioned and hosted by three major trade associations, whose members collectively purchase hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, materials, supplies, and professional services.
For complete information about the conference, click here.
April 29 – 30: Refinery Crude Slate Strategies 2014 at the Westin Galleria, Houston, TX.
During this conference, the supply and demand of Bakken crude oil as well as other US crude markets will be evaluated. The conference is designed to help industry leaders capitalize on the increase in light crude production to take advantage of changing market differentials.
For complete information about the conference, click here.
May 20 – 22: 22nd Annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference at the Bismarck Civic Center, Bismarck, ND.
Topics will range from North American and world energy supply and demand, to highly technical Bakken talks, to managing community impacts and “Bakken Basics” education.
Attendance at this annual event has been growing rapidly, so registering and obtaining accommodations early is strongly recommended.
For complete information about the conference and trade show, click here.
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Many copy our stories, but you will read them first in Oil Patch Hotline. We cover news to keep you informed on what is going on in the Williston Basin and the upper Rocky Mountain region. We supply rig locations and the latest drilling permits issued by state commissions in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.
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