Oil

The confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers lies near an oil and gas development near the North Dakota/Montana border, May 31, 2014.
Chris Boyer of Kestrel Aerial Services, Inc./NPCA / FLICKR (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The State of Montana last week finalized its first set of comprehensive rules for disposal of oil and gas production waste.

Richland County Courthouse in Sidney, Montana, 2008.
Larry D. Moore (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

A recent Montana legislative report says tax revenue from oil and natural gas production is expected to drop more than 28 percent this fiscal year, which will impact state and county budgets.

A federal judge in Montana Thursday heard arguments but made no ruling on tribes’ suit to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The hearing was part of an ongoing lawsuit the Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota brought against developer TC Energy and President Donald Trump.

Oil Well
Amy R. Sisk


The Bureau of Land Management last week announced an increase to drilling permit fees on public lands. The fee increases directed by the U.S. Congress also apply to some mineral cost recovery for oil and gas developers.

An abadoned oil well in texas
Ray Bodden / Flickr CC BY 2.0


A U.S. government watchdog agency that works for Congress says taxpayers could potentially face hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs from abandoned oil and gas wells on public lands.

As of August, the U.S. is the leading producer of crude oil in the world. A new analysis shows the nation surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in total number of barrels produced per day (b/d) that month, with 11.35 million (b/d).

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to streamline the process for oil and gas development on federal lands. Zinke signed an order Thursday mandating Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales be held in each state on at least a quarterly basis.

Zinke noted during a telephone press conference that under the Obama administration BLM fell far short of that legally-mandated limit.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project.

It's a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists, who protested for months against the pipeline. Oil started flowing through it earlier this month. The tribe fears that the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River just upstream of its reservation, could contaminate its drinking water and sacred lands.

Crude oil is now flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite months of protests against it by Native American tribes and environmental groups.

The pipeline spans more than 1,000 miles from North Dakota to Illinois and cost some $3.8 billion to construct. It is expected to transport approximately 520,000 barrels of oil daily.

(Flickr Photo/Shannon Patrick) (https://flic.kr/p/dVnX4W)

Northern Plains Resource Council is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed today challenging the Trump Administration’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. A coalition of environmental groups are part of the lawsuit filed in federal district court in Great Falls.

Northern Plains is challenging the permit based on what they call “outdated and incomplete information” from a 2014 Environmental Impact Statement used to determine the pipeline’s threat to the health of water, land, and communities it crosses​.

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