North Dakota Fights Fracking Rule

North Dakota Developments, LLC
North Dakota Developments, LLC

North Dakota officials are warning that a new federal fracking rule will likely cost the state $300 a year in income and 1,900 jobs.

In March,the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized new rules to regulate hydraulic oil and gas fracturing on public lands. Several states have filed suit, arguing that the new rules supersede the state’s authority and “invade” the jurisdiction of the state regulatory bodies.

Related: Federal Fracking Regulations Challenged

The ruling is particularly significant to North Dakota because of it vast public lands. It is estimated that BLM has an interest in about a third of the drilling units in North Dakota that were acquired the mineral rights on defaulted farms during the the Great Depression.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources believes that the ruling will cause companies to leave North Dakota, which could cost the state $9.4 billion in royalties and taxes.

The rule is set to take effect on June 24th and to delay implementation, North Dakota filed a request for a preliminary injunction against the BLM while the court reviewed previous challenges. A hearing is set for June 23 in U.S. District Court in Casper, Wyo.


Bakken Permitting on BLM Lands Should Pick Up in 2014

Western ND Tribal Lands Map
Western ND Tribal Lands Map

Legislation aimed at improving the permitting process in the Bakken will now be in full effect, after being signed by President Barack Obama and passing approval in the US House and Senate.

The Bureau of Land Management Streamlining Act, authored by North Dakota Senators, Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, will expand the service area of the Miles City, Montana office to process oil and gas production permits in western North Dakota.

The Impact on Permitting in the Bakken

The legislation is about helping to cut red tape and making the federal permitting process more timely and efficient.
— Senator Hoeven

It currently takes anywhere between 6 - 9 months to receive a permit on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands; however, on private lands it takes on average only 10 days. As of December 2013, 525 permits were awaiting approval on BLM lands. With the new legislation, anticipated efficiency and economic benefits are expected for both operators in the area and the State of North Dakota.