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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

North Dakota News

Inland Port Development: Take the train

The intermodal equation for any deep draft port is incomplete without its inland component.It’s definitely a work in progress.There are inland ports in the truest sense: major lakefront and riverfront cities such as Chicago and St. Louis, including even Duluth and Tulsa, with vast distribution areas, wildly varying cargo, roads, trains and waterways to serve them.And, then, there are inland ports, dry ports that have vast distribution areas, containerized cargo delivered from true oceanfront ports…

Photo: Official FB Page of Austal USA

Navy Christens USNS City of Bismarck

Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9) with a ceremony at its state-of-the-art shipyard on May 13. City of Bismarck is the ninth of 12 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of a contract worth over $1.9 billion. The ship’s sponsor, Congresswoman Jane Harman, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay.

Coast Guard to Be Honored in New Orleans

The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and welfare of Coast Guard members and their families, announced today the details of its Annual Tribute to the 8th Coast Guard District. To be held on Friday, March 4 in New Orleans, Coast Guard Sector Mobile will be honored at the event for their skill and leadership in organizing a mass search and rescue operation on April 25, 2015. An unforeseen storm on that day struck Mobile Bay and nearby Mississippi Sound with tropical force winds and waves…

Halliburton Cuts Williston, ND Head Count

Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, said on Monday it has laid off staff in Williston, North Dakota, blaming plunging crude oil prices. The company provided no details on the number of employees affected. "Halliburton will continue to monitor the business environment and will adjust the size of our workforce to align with current business demands as needed," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters. Reporting by Ernest Scheyder

USS North Dakota (U.S. Navy Photo)

US Navy Launches Undersea Drone

A U.S. Navy submarine has become the first to launch and recover an underwater drone used in a military operation, reports AP. The attack submarine USS North Dakota returned to its base in Groton, Connecticut, on Monday following a nearly two-month deployment. The vessel's commanding officer, Capt. Douglas Gordon, said the Mediterranean Sea mission proved submarine-launched drones are a viable option for the Navy. The drone was launched from a shelter attached to the top of the Virginia class submarine that can also be used for the undersea deployment of divers and special forces.

The John Warner, a new Virginia-class submarine, is launched. Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries

John Warner Successfully Completes Initial Sea Trials

A Virginia-class attack submarine named after former U.S. Sen. John Warner has successfully completed an initial round of sea trials,  reports UPI. The U.S. Navy has completed initial sea trials to demonstrate its systems and capabilities. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds under water and on the surface. Huntington Ingalls Industries, who's Newport News Shipbuilding is constructing the vessel…

Joseph Keefe is the lead commentator of  MaritimeProfessional.com.

Getting Onboard the Regulatory Train

Rail transport activists, analysts and environmentalists get a real taste of what the waterfront has endured for decades. They’ll just have to get in line with the rest of us. This week finds the collective domestic oil industry wringing its hands about the latest in a series of serious oil transport train casualties. This time, on Monday, the news involved a crude-carrying train that derailed in West Virginia, complete with more than one dozen tank cars afire and necessitating the evacuation of nearby towns.

Canadian Oil Sands Woes Reach Maritimes

Cory Troke joined the exodus west two years ago, leaving scenic but job-scarce Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, after being laid off as a machinist. Troke, 37, headed to the Alberta oil sands, apprenticing as a pipefitter and finding 19 months of steady work, flying in for two weeks, returning home for one. By October Troke was out of work again, and he was not alone. A downturn driven by tumbling crude prices is causing turmoil in an island economy that has grown dependent on workers commuting more than 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) west.

Kemp: California Drillers Impacted by Prices

California's oil industry is being hit harder than any other state by falling prices because of the comparatively poor quality of its crude and its aging fields. The number of active drilling rigs in the state has more than halved since June 2014, from 48 to just 21, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes (http://link.reuters.com/ruz73w). The California rig count is the lowest since October 2009, when producers were struggling with low prices in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and deep recession that began a year earlier.

Senate Panel to Introduce Keystone XL Bill

The head of the Senate energy committee plans to introduce a bill next week to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, though the full chamber faces a battle in obtaining needed votes to overcome any veto by President Barack Obama. Keystone supporters say they picked up votes for TransCanada Corp's $8 billion project in November's midterm elections, including Republicans Shelley Moore Capito, from West Virginia, and Joni Ernst, from Iowa. That means this year's bill will likely have a few more than the 60 votes needed to pass…

North Dakota's Bakken Club Evicted; Says Oil Drop Not a Factor

An exclusive private club in the heart of North Dakota's oil country has been evicted amid a spat with its landlord over building maintenance and unpaid rent, but the club's owners say it has nothing to do with low oil prices and they will reopen at another site. The Bakken Club, which Halliburton, Statoil , Weatherford and other companies joined for a $15,000 initiation fee and minimum monthly food spend of $750, was evicted from its downtown Williston locale on Dec. 21 for not paying rent, according to court filings.

Val Lerma

InterAct Appoints Lerma as Engineering Manager

InterAct, an Acteon company, has appointed Val Lerma, P.E., as engineering manager. Lerma will be based in InterAct’s Ventura, California, office and has more than 30 years of experience working with major and independent oil and gas operators, both on and offshore. She has experience in drilling, reservoir and production engineering as well as management roles and will enhance InterAct’s engineering capabilities. Lerma served as the engineering manager, business development manager and president of Orchard Petroleum Inc., and Orchard E&P, LLC.

Oil well in western North Dakota

North Dakota Sees Low Cost to Comply with Crude Standard

North Dakota's strict new standards for oil treatment, requiring every barrel of crude be filtered for dangerous types of natural gas, should add 10 cents to the cost of producing every barrel, regulators said on Friday. That's roughly $3.7 million per month, statewide, based on October's monthly oil production of 36.6 million barrels. The new standards take effect in April. The ongoing cost would be in addition to one-time capital investments of $20 million needed statewide, an average of roughly $2…

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Oil Train Regulation Passes in California

California lawmakers on Friday passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state. The bill would require railroads to notify the state's Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous U.S. state. It passed its final vote in the Assembly 61-1, with strong bipartisan support within the state legislature in Sacramento. The bill now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

US Approves LNG Exports from Sempra, Carib Energy Projects

The U.S. Energy Department on Wednesday approved liquefied natural gas exports from two projects, as lawmakers pressed the administration to move quickly to clear a backlog of applications to ship gas abroad. Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana and Carib Energy's small-scale export project in Florida are the first projects to receive final permits from the department to export gas to non-free-trade-agreement countries since Cheniere's Sabine Pass project was approved in 2012. Until now Sabine Pass was the only project fully permitted at the federal level.

Rick Bott, 54, joined Continental as president and chief operating officer

Continental Resources President Quits, Leaves Leadership Gap

Continental Resources Inc, the largest oil producer in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation, said on Thursday that Rick Bott, its president and chief operating officer, had resigned. Bott, 54, was widely considered the likely successor to Continental Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm, 68. His departure leaves a talent gap at the top of the company, which is in the midst of an ambitious attempt to double its 2012 production levels by 2017. Continental said Bott's duties will be divided between remaining executives.

Jack Stark of Continental Resources Inc.

Continental Resources Names New President after Bott's Quick Exit

Continental Resources Inc, the largest oil producer in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation, promoted Jack Stark to president on Wednesday, less than a week after Rick Bott quit the position. Stark, 59, had worked at Continental since 1998, most recently as head of exploration. The promotion instantly makes Stark the top contender to replace founder and Chief Executive Harold Hamm. Bott stepped down as president last week, a move that surprised many on Wall Street, and even some inside the company. Continental is set to hold an analyst day on Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Delays at Train crossing

U.S. Drivers to Face Delays at Rail Crossings due to Oil Shipments

Runaway oil production could slow road traffic as drivers face longer delays to cross train tracks in many congested regions, a U.S. study released on Friday predicted. Oil, coal and grain shipments are taxing the national rail grid as the deliveries of those commodities are expected to climb along with commercial shipments in the coming years, according to the report from the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress. Freight movements on the tracks are due to rise 51 percent over 2007 levels by 2040…

Darren Yeo, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Vallianz Acquires OER Holdings for $28m

Vallianz Holdings Limited, a provider of offshore support vessels and integrated marine solutions to the oil and gas industry, has today announced that it is acquiring OER Holdings Pte. Ltd. for $27.7 million (USD). Headquartered in Singapore, OER is a provider of manpower services to the offshore industry and has been supplying professional crew with proven experience in offshore work and related hospitality services to clients worldwide including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Mexico.

North Dakota during trials in August 2014

Navy to Commission Submarine North Dakota

The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. North Dakota, designated SSN 784, honors the state's citizens and veterans and their strong military support and heritage from the Frontier Wars through the Cold War and currently the Global War on Terrorism. Seventeen North Dakotans have received the Medal of Honor for actions in combat. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm.

Medium range  tanker Afrodite has created a buzz, as it has been sighted regularly along the Hudson River. What’s the excitement for a 2005-built 53,000 dwt ship? It has commenced a two-year charter to Irving Oil, at a rate of $16,000/day, topped off by a profit-split, hauling crude oil produced in the Bakken fields, in North Dakota.

Changes in Oil Trade Patterns and their Effects

With “America’s Energy Renaissance” oil trade patterns are changing. The impact is far reaching, but not easily defined. Ship spotters around the Hudson River, which snakes north from New York towards Albany, have been abuzz since the middle of the year when the medium range (MR) tanker Afrodite, owned by Tsakos Energy Navigation, has been sighted regularly. The 2005-built 53,000 deadweight vessel commenced a two-year charter to Irving Oil, at a rate of $16,000/day, topped off by a profit-split.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (Credit:North Dakota Office of the Governor)

Dalrymple's Budget Weighs on Oil Price Rebound

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple proposed a two-year state budget on Wednesday that forecasts rebounding oil prices and a 23 percent jump in oil taxes, a tacit bet the state's energy boom will continue unabated. Oil prices have dropped more than 30 percent since June amidst global oversupply and demand concerns. Last week OPEC opted not to cut its oil production, a step seen by many as designed to squeeze North Dakota and other oil-producing regions of the United States. Despite OPEC's decision…

James J. Volker (Credit:Whiting)

Whiting Shareholders Approve Kodiak Oil Buyout

Whiting Petroleum Corp shareholders approved the company's all-stock buyout of Kodiak Oil and Gas Corp on Wednesday, a deal that will make Whiting the largest oil producer in North Dakota. Votes representing about 79 percent of Whiting's shares were cast, and of that, roughly 99 percent approved the deal, Whiting said in a statement. Separately, Kodiak shareholders met and approved the sale, with votes representing about 78 percent of the company's shares cast, with about 97 percent of that voting in favor.

US Lawmakers Give Preview of Oil Export Fight

U.S. lawmakers gave a preview on Thursday of a looming fight next year on lifting the ban on crude exports with supporters saying it would sustain the drilling boom and others questioning its impacts on industry and fuel prices. In a House of Representatives hearing on the ban, Texas Republican Joe Barton said exporting oil would boost the economy, lower gas prices, and help give allies alternative oil supplies to Russia. By some measures the United States is the world's top oil producer and Barton said the country should use that power.

Floating hotel draws workers to NW Canada boom town

Hundreds of construction workers in booming northern British Columbia will take up residence this week in unique digs on board a cruise ferry revamped into a floating luxury hotel. The aging ship will help relieve a housing shortage in one busy Canadian port town already bursting ahead of a promised energy boom that could last more than a decade. The Silja Festival - a Baltic ferry made over as the Delta Spirit Lodge - will spend at least a year docked outside Kitimat, British Columbia…

Bishop Lifting Acquires Delta Rigging & Tools

SBP Holdings, through its wholly owned subsidiary Bishop Lifting Products, has completed the acquisition of Delta Rigging & Tools headquartered in Houston, Texas. Bishop Lifting Products and Delta Rigging & Tools specialize in the fabrication and distribution of slings, wire rope and rigging products, crane and rigging inspection services, engineered solutions and equipment rentals. The combined Company will go to market under the brands Bishop Lifting Products, Delta Rigging & Tools, Delta Rentals & Rigging, and Morgan City Rentals.