Farming and ranching have always been the biggest industries in North Dakota. But now, oil has knocked agriculture from the top spot. Mining – which includes oil – is now worth $8.5 billion dollars in the state. Agriculture is closer to 7 billion.
It’s a milestone for a state that had hardly any oil production 10 years ago, and the change has created some tension.
By Stephanie Joyce - Wyoming Public Media & Inside Energy
In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas in late 2013. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants.
Most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.
A leaky pipeline has spilled about 1 million gallons of saltwater near a North Dakota reservoir that supplies drinking water to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The pipeline, owned by the Texas-based Crestwood Midstream Partners, runs along the shore of Bear Den Bay on Lake Sakakwea, a reservoir on the Missouri River.
By Alisa Barba & Jordon Wirfs-Brock & Inside Energy
The railroad industry is taking steps to avoid public disclosure of crude oil shipment routes, reports The Associated Press. The companies were ordered in May by the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin notifying rail yards and emergency responders when large shipments of Bakken crude were rolling through their communities.
Those disclosures are due to begin June 7. The companies have to reveal route details and the amount of oil carried in shipments of 35 or more tank cars.