April 2, 2021
For Immediate Release
Western Region Economic Development (WRED) supports SB2065
Western Region Economic Development (WRED) supports SB2065 with the amendment 02007 as passed by the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee relating to the jurisdiction of the industrial commission to regulate the permitting and amalgamation of the underground storage of oil or gas; and to amend and reenact sections 15-05-09 and 15-05-10 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to oil and gas leases and royalties from oil leases.
WRED represents Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams Counties of North Dakota.
This bill sets policy that will allow the North Dakota Industrial Commission to regulate the permitting of pore spacing providing access to mineral and water deposits. Not only would this allow for the underground storage of oil, natural gas, and other byproducts that could later be retrieved, but it also provides the potential for mining of huge salt caverns as well as other elements and access to saline and aquifers.
This bill provides a means of storing independent oil and gas. This could increase production by storing which could enhance production as well as provide a means of reserving natural gas in salt caverns. Permitting could increase the current oil and gas production as well as enhance our economic diversity by allowing byproducts to be used from depleted wells.
As with other policy regarding companies contracting to provide adequate rental payments, the bill requires prior to permitting that companies need to contract with a greater than majority (60%) of the owners in return for adequate rental payments. Nonconsenting owners are provided means to contest and will not be held liable. All nonconsenting owners are or will be compensated equitably.
For most of western North Dakota pore space is providing no revenue for the owners currently. This bill would provide revenue or axillary revenue without disrupting the surface in most cases. At the same time, it will provide business growth and opportunity.
Western Region Economic Development (WRED) supports SB2065 with the amendment 02007 as passed by the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Ken Callahan, President
Western Region Economic Development