Drop In Pil Prices Affects Jobs In South Dakota

22 hours ago

In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 805 Hour 1

The recent drop in oil prices could soon, if not already, affect jobs here in South Dakota as this drop has a major impact on Bakken oil extraction. Dan Soeder is the director of the Energy Resources Initiative at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He joins us today to discuss how the pandemic is going to change the fossil fuel industry.

My Country No More

Jan 7, 2019

In The Moment ... January 7, 2019 Show 489 Hour 2

Between 2011 and 2016, oil drilling in rural North Dakota reached its peak, setting off a modern-day gold rush.

My Country No More explores a rural community in crisis and questions the long-term human consequences of short-term approached to land use.

My Country No More is produced and directed by Jeremiah Hammerling and Rita Baghdadi. It airs tonight as part of Independent Lens on SDPB-TV.

Lee Strubinger

Bruce Ellison is Rapid City Attorney who has worked in Indian Country for decades.  Today is taking part in the legal defense for those resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing of the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Reservation. Ellison joins Dakota Midday to talk about the changing nature of the protests and why he wants the pipeline stopped.  

Amy Sisk

Native Americans from Wyoming, Colorado and as far as Oklahoma are pulling up by the busload to protest an oil pipeline in rural North Dakota.

Construction began near the Missouri River section of the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline last week. This week, more than 1,500 protesters arrived at the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

“For two, years we’ve been holding them off, waiting for you to come. Now you’re here with us,” Jon Eagle Sr. told a cheering crowd at a protesters’ camp near the construction site.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.

Officials with the US Army Corps of Engineers are considering permits to construct and operate the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. The crude oil pipeline will connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to existing infrastructure in Illinois, traveling through part of South Dakota. Most of the more than eleven hundred mile pipeline crosses private lands. The US Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction on about 37 miles, or about three percent of the project…the sections that cross water or federal land. Eileen Williamson is a spokesperson for the Corps.


Now that crews have repaired a leak on the Keystone pipeline, they’re working to clean up the ground contaminated by crude oil. TransCanada shut down the pipeline last week when a local landowner discovered a leak. The company is now pumping oil through the line at reduced pressure.

TransCanada officials are investigating what caused 16,800 gallons of oil to escape the Keystone pipeline and saturate the ground near Freeman. A federal regulator oversees that analysis.


Officials with TransCanada say they’re working on an in-depth investigation into a leak that put 400 barrels of crude oil into the ground near Freeman, South Dakota. TransCanada shut down the Keystone oil pipeline for one week to find the problem and fix it.

TransCanada crews found the source of an oil leak Friday, worked to repair it over the weekend, and had crude oil flowing through the Keystone pipeline by Sunday.

Mark Cooper with TransCanada says the company is analyzing the root cause of the oil leak and he can’t offer details until the investigation is complete.


TransCanada authorities say crude oil could move through the Keystone pipeline again by the end of the day Saturday. Crews discovered a leak that released nearly 17,000 gallons of oil. The pipeline is shut down, but TransCanada says it should be fixed by Satruday, so oil can flow at reduced pressure.

TransCanada officials say engineers and pipeline integrity specialists are working on the leak site. They say they have conditional approval from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restart the line after repairs are done.


Landowners and regulators are watching as crews search for the source of an oil sheen in southeastern South Dakota. The Keystone Pipeline is shut down as TransCanada teams drill for soil samples and excavate to figure out how oil got into the land. Officials with TransCanada say the oil covers about 300 square feet of land near Freeman.


TransCanada crews are investigating what they call "a small potential leak along the Keystone pipeline right-of-way" near Freeman. Representatives from TransCanada say they’re testing oil discovered a field to learn whether it’s the same kind the Keystone Pipeline carries. An official says about 100 contractors from Canada and the United States have contained the oil and are working near Freeman, South Dakota.

EPA Fines BNSF $600K For Violations Including Oahe Spill

Feb 25, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined BNSF Railroad $600-thousand for violations including oil and diesel spills at its rail yards and along railways.  

One spill in 2010 affected Lake Oahe.

BNSF reached an agreement with the EPA to resolve the alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act across several states.

Public Utilities Commissioners have approved a permit for an oil pipeline built across eastern South Dakota. The pipeline is more than 1,100 miles long and will transport crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois. Commissioners approved the permit with conditions on a split vote.

The local segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline stretches from the North Dakota border 272 miles across South Dakota to the Iowa state line. It includes one pump station, and the proposed route crosses 13 eastern South Dakota counties.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The National Wildlife Federation intends to sue the federal government over pipeline regulations – and some are in South Dakota. NWF leaders say federal officials aren’t enforcing a 1990s law that helps protect communities, people and animals when oil spills happen. The problem arises when pipelines cross waterways. 

National Wildlife Federation leaders say the US Department of Transportation is failing to comply with the Oil Pollution Act, and they’ve filed a notice of intent to sue. Mike Shriberg is the executive director for the Great Lakes Region.

"Oil To Die For"

May 18, 2015

"Oil To Die For" is a new interactive documentary from Black Gold Boom producer Todd Melby.  The documentary explores how North Dakota became one of the most dangerous places to work in America.  It also examines the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Dustin Bergsing, a 21-year-old well watcher, who died on the job.  Melby's new project debuted Monday at www.blackgoldboom.com.  Users can watch interviews, access court documents and browse through the details at their own speed.

Innovation: Research On Oilseeds As New Cash Crop

Apr 10, 2015
South Dakota State University

SDSU Research Professor Dr. William Gibbons  says oil seeds are a new major crop that can be grown in South Dakota.  The seeds can be pressed and used as biofuel in diesel engines and even in jet airplanes.  Current research shows the crop can work well in rotation with wheat and can benefit the environment.

Gibbons specializes in industrial microbiology at South Dakota State University.  He also serves as the Director of the South Dakota Oilseed Initiative.  The group of scientists study the possible use of oil seeds as a fuel source and possible crop for this region.

The United States Senate has failed to override the President’s veto of Keystone XL oil pipeline legislation. Wednesday afternoon, the number of lawmakers who voted to override the decision was 62. That’s not the two-thirds majority necessary for the measure to pass.

Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation authorizing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, but the administration is still reviewing the pipeline proposal. Six years into consideration, United States Senators tried and failed to override the president’s veto of the nearly 1,200 miles of line.

SD Oil and Gas Association's New Leader

Jul 2, 2014
T&M Photographic Studio, Sturgis S.D.

The South Dakota Oil and Gas Association named Adam Martin as the Executive Director Monday. The association was started in 2012 and Martin says the organization is committed to maintaining a positive business climate for South Dakota’s oil and gas industry. Martin also says the organization is beneficial for the economy, so it won’t depend on outside resources.

Tribes Rally D.C. On KXL

Apr 24, 2014

Tribal leaders and state residents from across South Dakota spent part of this week in Washington D.C. rallying and lobbying against the Keystone pipeline.

Representatives from each tribe in the state took part in an Earth Day protest against the proposed project.

While opponents remain adamantly against the pipeline–company officials point out that the project is not crossing reservation land and that many rural landowners are in favor of the proposal.


Frac Sand Not In South Dakota

Mar 28, 2014

South Dakota sand won’t be used for North Dakota fracking.  

In hydraulic fracturing high pressure water and chemicals mixed with some sand are pumped underground to break the rocks below the surface and open fractures for oil to flow into production wells. Some state officials hoped South Dakota would have the right quality of sand for use in hydraulic fracturing.
Darren Johnson  is with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  He took part in a study looking for frac sand in the state.  He says South Dakota sand just doesn’t meet the bar.

Senate Bill 170 seeks to revise compensation for damage on surface land done by mining and oil drilling companies. It narrowly passed out of the Senate Commerce and Energy committee Tuesday morning after more than an hour of debate. Supporters say current landowners deserve the right to negotiate compensation. But opponents argue the language is too vague.

Arkansas Oil Spill Raises Concerns Over Keystone XL

Apr 1, 2013

An oil pipeline spill that flooded tar sands crude oil into an Arkansas suburb over the weekend has raised concerns about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline planned to cross South Dakota.

The Arkansas spill was along an Exon pipeline –it’s separate from the TransCanada company pushing for the Keystone expansion–but some South Dakota landowners say the threat of an environmental disaster is real.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has this story.

Advertising Rapid City

Mar 12, 2013

A delegation of nearly 20 Rapid City business and civic leaders returned from Houston last week after with hopes of luring oil-related business to Rapid City and to promote the Black Hills as a vacation destination for Texans who will have direct flights to the region this summer.

Hyperion Project Update

Oct 4, 2012

This week, Texas company Hyperion did not extend its option to buy or acquire land in Union County on the site of a proposed oil refinery.  Several people have been close to this issue since its announcement in June, 2007.  Oral arguments are being heard today by the South Dakota Supreme Court on an air quality permit.  SDPB News Producer Kealey Bultena has an update from today's hearing. 

Union County Reacts To Hyperion Uncertainty

Oct 2, 2012

The future of the Hyperion oil refinery proposed for Southeastern South Dakota is now up in the air.  The Texas based company did not extend its option to buy or acquire land in Union County on the site of the proposed refinery.