Dallas: Carbon Flooding Paying Off in Montana

Aaron Flint posted on August 12, 2013 15:18 :: 751 Views

It was roughly 3 years ago when Denbury Resources came into Montana with a big investment, and an interesting concept.  The idea: take carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, ship the CO2 via pipeline, and then pump it into the ground in order to more efficiently extract oil from older wells in Montana. 

The move appears to be paying off, and a celebration is apparently scheduled for this Friday in Montana featuring Denbury leadership and Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), according to the Dallas Business Journal:

Right now, the field is producing less than 100 barrels a day but that’s expected to go up.

“Instead of having a depleting resource, we’ll start inclining so that’s why the state likes us,” Rykhoek said. “We do expect over the next several years to get 5,000 to 10,000 barrels per day.”

It’s expected to reach its peak between 2019 and 2021.

Meanwhile, FuelFix.com reports that oil and gas jobs have grown 40% since 2007:

Jobs in the oil and gas sector have grown 40 percent in the last five years, helping to counteract the tepid one percent increase in total U.S. employment.

The oil and natural gas industry created more than 162,000 jobs from 2007 to 2012 in drilling, extraction and support services, according to a report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.

In other natural resource news- former Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) now holds even more stock in the Stillwater Mine, and is North Dakota facing an “ethanol bubble” that could pose a bigger risk to North Dakota than an oil bust. 

First, the news on Gov. Schweitzer from The Billings Gazette:

Schweitzer now owns 39,703 shares in Stillwater Mining Co., the state’s largest publicly traded company. The stock closed at $11.91 a share on Friday, so his stock was worth $472,863.

Schweitzer said he’s been told that the consulting firm will recommend that he receive an additional $50,000 to $75,000 from all sources to bring his total compensation to somewhere in the range of $225,000 to $250,000 a year.

On Thursday, the company reported a loss of $5.3 million, or 4 cents a share, for the second quarter. Officials attributed the loss primarily to the cost of paying former executives, including McAllister, who left the company after the board takeover.

Now to North Dakota- is there an ethanol bubble, and if so- could that pose a greater threat to North Dakota’s economy than if the oil boom were to bust?  That’s the argument being posed by Rob Port with SayAnythingBlog.com:

Here in North Dakota farm values jumped an average of 46% in 2012, and land values have more than doubled since 2009. In other parts of the country farmers are saying that land is overvalued, and that we’re in the midst of a bubble.

It’s hard to disagree with that position, especially when the only impetus we can point to for this dramatic increase in crop prices and farm land values is the distorting impact of the government’s ethanol mandate.

Now it seems the boom in corn prices may be over.

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