CULBERTSON — No vacancy. Road closed. Help wanted. It’s hard to find a street in this tiny northeast Montana farm town without at least one, if not all three, signs on display.
Eastern Montana is seeing unprecedented growth as a result of the Bakken development. This impact comes not only from drilling and related activities in Montana, but also from “spillover” into Montana from North Dakota. These impacts are real, they are in many cases severe, and they need addressing.
Oil-and-gas production from unconventional sources such as the prolific Bakken shale has exploded, and the U.S. now produces more oil than it imports.
Exec says pipeline will help
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has joined other elected officials in calling for the FBI to establish a permanent presence in the eastern part of the state to watch over the Bakken oil patch.
Finding oil in the Bakken oil play has been compared to hitting a bull’s-eye from 1,000 yards away. You have to drill 10,000 feet below the surface and at some point turn the bit 90 degrees, steering it to a horizontal plane until it hits an oil-bearing formation somewhere between 10 and 20 …
The denial must end. For the sake of Americans and Canadians who live near rail lines transporting Bakken crude, government and industry must deliver a higher level of safety.
Here is a lesson for all my fellow Montanans living east of the Rocky Mountain Front, especially those in the Beartooth Front. I’m a resident of Savage, which is well within the Bakken formation. I have lived here since 1986 and observed the influx of the oil industry.
Responding to growth in Montana’s oil, coal and agriculture economies, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad on Tuesday opened an economic development office in Billings.
In addition to oil wells dotting the landscape, the infrastructure needed to move oil and equipment is changing the face of western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. Here, oil is loaded onto rail cars for transport in the Bakken oil fields near Trenton, N.D.
Water trucks line up to fill tanks for a fracking job in North Dakota. Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — has boosted production in the Bakken.
A lone oil pump is surrounded by sunflowers near Williston, N.D.
Oil wells sprout from farmland along the Missouri River south of Williston.
The sun rises on an oil well and tank battery south of Williston, N.D., in this aerial view of Bakken oil field activity in North Dakota.
The Killdeer Mountains form a backdrop for drilling and workover rigs.
A hydraulic fracturing operation under way in the Bakken oil field near Williston transforms the landscape. The practice of fracking involves pumping pressurized water and a mixture of chemicals into oil wells to fracture open deposits.
Oil wells drilled in a row just outside of Watford City dwarf the North Dakota town in the middle of the Bakken oil play.
A sea of fracking water and oil storage tanks glisten in the sun near Watford City, N.D.
Thousands of tons of radioactive waste is created every year by Bakken oil development and state health regulators signed off Wednesday on a risk assessment study that could allow some of it to be buried in North Dakota landfills.
Eastern Montana gets a new ConocoPhillips office.