Protests Over Pipeline Spread Across the Country

Protests continue to grow around the country over the 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline.

Related: Violence Erupts over Pipeline

Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline has been the focus of escalating protests since construction was halted over the Labor Day weekend after violence erupted. 

Over the past three months, there have been three protests in Dallas, the home of the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners. In September, dozens of people gathered in front of Energy Transfer's corporate headquarters and this past week, protesters yelled concerns at attendees at a fundraiser in Klyde Warren Park. 

Other Protests

  • Yesterday, more than 800 people protested in Los Angeles' MacArthur Par.  showed support for the pipeline activists. Among the crowd were celebrities including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo.
  • Over the weekend, protestors set up a camp in Cannonball ND, directly in the path of the project, according to Fox News. The groups erected tents and teepees on private land that the group contends rightfully belongs to native Americans.
  • In Morton County, ND, more than 127 people were arrested while Sheriff;s used pepper spray on the crowd. 
North Dakota sheriffs said protests were neither lawful nor peaceful. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe countered that law enforcement officials beat area demonstrators and using a militarized response to quell the protests.

Demonstrators are concerned about the environmental impact of the pipeline, including contamination of the Missouri River, which is the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Tribal leaders are also upset that the pipeline will disturb sacred burial grounds. 

Bakken Shale Production Dips Below 1 Million Barrels per Day

Oil production for the Bakken Shale Play dipped below 1 million barrels a day for the first time since 2014. 

Related: North Dakota Breaks Records for Oil and Gas

The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) for ND released August production data for the Bakken and North Dakota, revealing a significant drop in production. Bakken production was down 46,433 barrels per day to 930, 931. For North Dakota, the agency reports an average of 981,039 barrels of oil daily in August, down from 1.029 million barrels of oil daily in July.

The Director of DMR, Jesse Helms, expects the states oil production will continue to decrease over the coming months and will likely level off at 900,000 barrels per day.  

“This is a day we had been anticipating but not looking forward to,” said Director Lynn Helms.
— Lynn Helms, Director of ND Department of Mineral Resources

North Dakota also produced 1.64 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in August, down from 1.69 billion cubic feet daily in July.

The state hit the 1,184,635 b/d mark for oil in September 2014, setting a new record. That's 50,000 more b/d than the previous month. At the same time, they also had record monthly gas production (1,403,448 mcf/d), and reported the highest number of producing wells to date (11,741).

As of last week, the Bakken-Three Forks rig count remains unmoved for the third straight week, with Baker Hughes reporting 30 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.



SM Energy to Sell 54,500 Bakken Acres

SM Energy Company announced today that they are exploring the sale of certain Bakken assets in the Williston Basin. 

Related: ND Production Lowest Level Since 2014

SM Energy has hired Petrie Partners to explore the sale as part of a strategy to change focus to its 'Tier 1' assets in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. The sale will include approximately 54,500 net acres consisting of the Raven/Bear Den acreage and effectively all lease-holdings in the basin outside of the Company’s Divide County program in North Dakota.

As part of this strategy, we are continuing to core up our portfolio,such that we can concentrate investment dollars in the highest return programs and bring that value forward through accelerated activity.
— CEO Jay Ottoson

For the second quarter of 2016, SM Energy reported Bakken production of 2.6 MMBoe and completion of 17 gross/14 net wells.




North Dakota Tribes Try to Halt a Second Pipeline

Three American Indian Tribes have asked a federal appeals court to uphold their mineral rights under Lake Sakakawea that are in jeopardy from a pipeline project. 

Related: Violence Erupts at Pipeline Protest

Last week, a judge granted Paradigm Energy Partners permission to temporarily continue construction on the Sacagawea pipeline, while the situation is under investigation. Last month the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation demanded that work be halted because the company could not promise that their water supplies would remain safe.

This tense situation is the second project this month in North Dakota that is being challenged by native tribes. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been protesting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline about 150 miles away. Those protest made national headlines as they became violent as tribal leaders feared the pipeline threatened the tribe's main water source. 

Paradigm Energy Partners told ABC News that their oil pipeline project already is complete and the company is looking to complete its $16.6 million gas pipeline by November 1st. 

Violence Erupts at Pipeline Protest

Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline has come to a halt as demonstrations turn violent over the holiday weekend. 

Related: Dalrymple at Odds with Sioux Tribe Over Pipeline

What had been peaceful protests in the small town of Cannonball Dakota turned ugly after the pipeline company allegedly used bulldozers to destroy sacred tribal sites. Things escalated with guards using pepper spray and dogs to curb the situation.

Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear told CBS news that six people had been bitten by dogs, including children. The oil company accused protesters of escalating the situation by breaking through a fence an attacking workers.

On Tuesday, U.S. Judge James Boasberg granted part of a temporary restraining order effectively halted work for the time being. 

Demonstrators are concerned about the environmental impact of the pipeline, including contamination of the Missouri River, which is the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Tribal leaders are also upset that the pipeline will disturb sacred burial grounds. 

I confronted the man that pepper sprayed me and I said, ‘Did you know you just pepper sprayed a pregnant woman?.’ In the native culture, the pregnant women are held sacred, so to do that against our women and to a woman that is pregnant, that should tell you what kind of character they have. I am a mother. I am protecting another mother. I am fighting for another mother and her children and that’s mother earth.
— Trisha Etringer to

When complete, the 1,172 mile pipeline willconnect the Bakken and Three Forks production area to Illinois and will transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude per day.