In this week’s news update, the North Dakota Industrial Commission voted to reclaim two wells, and a Texas oil company may face penalties for allegedly beginning work on a proposed pipeline.

State regulators in Iowa discussed imposing penalties on a Texas oil company planning to build a crude oil pipeline from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa to a terminal in Illinois.

Dakota Access received key approvals necessary to construct the $3.8 billion pipeline, but it hasn’t yet met certain requirements before the permit is official in Iowa.

Iowa Utility Board staff members said March 29 that they’ve received letters contending construction already has begun on a substation and tree clearing on the pipeline route. Dakota Access says it has begun only preparations, according to the Des Moines Gazette.

Related: Blog: Gas and Oil Fuel North Dakota’s Rise

The board plans to hold additional meetings March 31 and April 4. Under state code, the board could levy a fine of $1,000 per day of the violation, up to $200,000.

Industrial Commission in North Dakota Takes Over Wells
The North Dakota Industrial Commission voted March 29 to reclaim two oil wells near Dickinson.

Black Gold Energy Resource Development owns the wells, but the company is in bankruptcy, and has no options to sell or reclaim the well site.

Related: Editor's Notebook: Born of Opportunity

North Dakota’s Oil and Gas Division will confiscate the wells, equipment and any salable oil, according to department head Lynn Helms. He says the reclamation cost will be $330,000.

At the same meeting, the commission issued a default order for five other wells in western North Dakota owned by Strike Oil.

Related Stories