The Ramada Grand Dakota Hotel in Dickinson, N.D., advertises its Extended Stay Specials on Friday, July 22, 2016. The price of a hotel room in western North Dakota has dropped by as much as 30 percent in the past year as hotels see fewer oil workers. Average hotel prices in Dickinson, Williston and Minot range from $70-$85 this summer. Hotel occupancy rates are up compared to this winter, but still far below what those cities saw during the height of the oil boom. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

Vacancies Up, Room Rates Down For Oil Patch Hotels

DICKINSON, N.D. – The price of a hotel room in western North Dakota has dropped by as much as 30 percent in the past year as hotels see fewer oil workers. Average hotel prices in Dickinson, Williston and Minot ranged from $70 to $85 this June. Most recent occupancy rates were 43 to 55 percent,…
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A truck crosses the Long X Bridge on U.S. Highway 85 south of Watford City, N.D., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Kathleen J. Bryan/Forum News Service

Badlands A Sensitive Subject As Plans To Widen U.S. 85 Emerge

WATFORD CITY, N.D. – The public will be asked for input next week on alternatives for the proposed four-laning of U.S. Highway 85 south of Watford City, but none of the options include maintaining a two-lane highway through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Some conservation advocates have argued against expanding Highway 85 for a 7-mile stretch…
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Minnesota prosecutors allege that Ronald David Johnson, 50, Corcoran, Minn., purchased a 17-acre island on Mink Lake near Maple Lake, Minn., using proceeds from a fraudulent investment scheme involving the Bakken oilfields.

Minnesota Man Accused Of Defrauding Bakken RV Park Investors

ST. PAUL – A Minnesota man is accused in federal court of stealing more than $2 million from victims hoping to invest in North Dakota oilfield housing and using the money to fund his own entertainment and lifestyle, including buying a 17-acre island. Ronald David Johnson, 50, Corcoran, Minn., is charged with five counts of wire…
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Lynn Helms, center, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, testifies to a House subcommittee Wednesday, June 6, 2016, in Washington, D.C., with David Porter, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, left, and Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. Photo submitted by House Committee on Energy and Commerce

EPA Rules Would Hurt N.D. Effort To Curb Flaring, Helms Says

WASHINGTON – North Dakota’s top oil regulator told members of a House subcommittee Wednesday that proposed federal regulations would harm the state’s ability to reduce natural gas flaring. Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, was among six panelists who testified before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and…
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Bakken Multi-Well Pads Getting Bigger

TIOGA, N.D. – Oil well pads are getting bigger in western North Dakota as companies figure out how to get the most oil out of the Bakken. Hess Corp. has the Bakken’s largest well pad with 18 wells on a single location, but the state’s top oil regulator says he expects to see mega-pads get…
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