The Fairfield Sun Times has been offering some very interesting coverage. Here’s one that stands out– an article headlined, “Geology Firm Bullish On Development Along Eastern Slope.”
The article features an interview with Joe Large, RPM Geologic President where he was asked why RPM decided to open up an office in Fairfield:
Large: The location puts us at the center of the “oil plays” that we see developing over the next five to seven years: the Southern Alberta Bakken, from Glacier through Cascade Counties and over in Fergus and Musselshell Counties, the Heath Play.
Sun Times: How confident are you that this area, along the Rockies, will develop?
Large: We’re very confident that the region will develop. Otherwise we would not be opening an office here. People tend to think that oil production occurs overnight. That is not the case. Even in the Bakken Play, there were sudden bursts of very localized development, then, due to market forces the play would become dormant. Only in the last 3 or 4 years have we seen the rapid pace we see now. In the area along the Rockies, I expect the development, once it begins, to be more steady and more orderly, unlike what happened in North Dakota. Remember, Montana has almost a century of oil production history; it has an established infrastructure. That was almost non-existent in North Dakota, which did not put a well into production until the 1950s.
Meanwhile, The Fairfield Sun Times also features a release from The Montana Petroleum Association with their reaction to an effort in the Montana Legislature to do away with the oil tax holiday that successfully fought back:
“Exploration in the Bakken is occurring only because of the tax holiday,” said John Alke, opposing the bill on behalf of Fidelity Exploration and Production Company. Alke explained that wells across the border will produce three to four times the volume of those in Montana. “If you eliminate the tax holiday you will not affect the tax burden, but determine where companies will drill for oil.”
Testifying against the bill was Dave Galt for the Montana Petroleum Association who presented information showing a decline in recent production. Montana’s rig count is down to 12, representing a 31.6% drop since last year. Meanwhile, North Dakota’s rig count is more than 175 as of this week.