pump jacks (copy)

Pump jacks pull oil to the earth's surface from deep underground in February 2020 on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

North Dakota has set the parameters for a May 20 hearing into when and under what circumstances oil prices are so low production should constitute waste under its Century Code, as well as what relief is appropriate and necessary in that case.

The hearing does not mean the state will necessarily declare oil production a waste, oil and gas officials have stressed.

State officials simply want to understand all the ramifications of declaring production a waste, particularly as other states like Texas and Oklahoma mull similar measures as well as mandatory production cuts or proration.

The hearing may be heard online at https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/docketindex.asp at 9 a.m. May 20.

To testify during the hearing, provide your telephone number to brkadrmas@nd.gov prior to noon Tuesday, May 19.

If there are documents to be used during your testimony, send those to the same email address prior to noon on Tuesday as well. Commission staff will call your phone number on the day of the hearing, in an order that will be determined by the hearing examiner.

Testimony the day of the hearing is limited to 15 minutes per party and should not repeat that of others.

It should also relate to one of the following topics:

• Market price, production costs, and post-production costs that result in economic waste of North Dakota crude oil

• Volatility of North Dakota crude oil price

• Crude oil price differential projections

• Hedged crude oil production and challenges of getting to market

• Oversupply and reduced demand of North Dakota crude oil

• Storage capacity for North Dakota crude oil

• North Dakota refinery crude oil demand

• Implications of temporary crude oil storage

• Prevention of waste of North Dakota crude oil

• Protection of correlative rights and jeopardized title to leasehold

• Impacts on royalty owners when crude oil price reaches a negative value

• Processes and challenges of curtailing or shutting in crude oil production from North Dakota wells

• Processes and challenges of protecting the environment, health and safety of the public when curtailing production or shutting in crude oil production from North Dakota wells

• Impacts on continuation of business for the entities that service curtailed or shut in North Dakota oil wells

• Impacts on continuation of business for the entities that provide transportation, storage, marketing, and refining of North Dakota crude oil

• Impacts on continued employment of North Dakota operator’s staff

Written comments may also be submitted to the Oli and Gas Division, 1016 E Calgary Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58503-5512 or brkadrmas@ndgov before 5 p.m. CDT May 15.

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