In this week's news, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests continue in North Dakota with more injured; the rig count jumped up by 20, marking the largest increase since April 2014; and the first Korean company in 41 years has received a shipment of U.S. imported oil.

Tear gas, freezing cold water and rubber bullets were used to disperse a crowd of 400 protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline late Nov. 20 and early Nov. 21 that left more than 150 activists and one law enforcement officer inured, according to a report from NBC News.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II told NBC News that between 200 and 300 people were transported to a gymnasium on the reservation for treatment of hypothermia, facial and hand wounds, and other minor injuries.

Protesters say the clashes began when they tried to remove a roadblock on a bridge north of their Oceti Sakowin “Water Protector” Camp. The roadblock has blocked the main route to the city of Bismarck since late October.

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The tribe says it is now reaching out to the White House with a request that the Obama administration intervene “due to the threat to public safety at Standing Rock.”

Rig Count Increases by 20

The number of rigs seeking oil and natural gas jumped up by 20 last week to 588, marking the biggest rise since April 2014.

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According to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Nov. 18, the number of rigs seeking oil went up by 19 to 471 and those searching for natural gas rose by one to 116. One rig was listed as miscellaneous.

Since June, 184 units have restarted, despite oil remaining below the $50 a barrel threshold.

Among the major oil- and gas-producing states, the Texas rig count went up by eight, while Oklahoma and Lousiana were up four and Ohio was up three. Colorado rose by two and Utah was up one. Wyoming, Pennsylvania and North Dakota each declined by one.

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GS Caltex Becomes First Korean Company to Import US Crude in 41 Years

GS Caltex has become the first South Korean company to import U.S. crude oil in 41 years, the company announced Nov. 21.

A large crude carrier loaded with 1 million barrels of Eagle Ford crude arrived Nov. 20 at a port in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, according to the company. The crude was purchased in July and unloading work was finished Nov. 22.

“The company decided to purchase the U.S. crude as the economic feasibility of the crude was ensured amid the weakening West Texas Intermediate, falling crude freight charges and other cost-saving efforts,” GS Caltex officials said.

The company is planning to introduce 1 million barrels of additional Eagle Ford crude next month.

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