The annual American Economic Development Institute and Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. report, considered the most comprehensive, unbiased and unvarnished by the economic development industry, examines 32 factors relative to state efforts to develop pro-business strategies. Factors weighed in the study include taxes, human resources, education, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, and investments infrastructure.
The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2013 are:
3. North Dakota
8. South Dakota
NorthWestern Corporation NorthWestern Energy has agreed to purchase operating and non-operating natural gas production interests in northern Montana's Bear Paw Basin from Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. (Devon). This purchase also includes Devon's 82 percent interest in the Havre Pipeline Company, LLC.
NorthWestern Energy will need to obtain a regulatory waiver to acquire the Havre Pipeline Company, LLC, a necessary step in completing the transaction. This transaction is expected to close in 2013 subject to customary approval.
It's a rosy picture for Billings in terms of the housing market and employment. Numbers are not only increasing, but numbers reached in 2013 will exceed pre-recession peaks. Already, by most measures, the residential real estate market has exceeded 2006 peaks, and "employment in Yellowstone County already exceeds all previous highs," according to local Real Estate Broker Howard Sumner.
If the first half of the year, says Sumner, "were a football game, the residential market in Billings would be leading 21 to zero."
The latest director's cut from the NDIC shows oil production in North Dakota hit a record of more than 793,000 b/d in April 2013. The state is on pace to surpass 850,000 b/d by year-end.
At current levels of activity in the Bakken and Three Forks, production should grow approximately 10,000 b/d per month. That puts the state on pace to hit 760,000-780,000 b/d by year-end.
The doom that has been foretold about the dying-off of honey bees, may be more media hype than reality. PERC (Property and Environment Research Center), a Bozeman-based think tank, reports that while the problem of "colony collapse disorder" (CCD) is very real, those who have jumped to conclusions about it placing our food supply in peril, or that we have reached "a crisis point for crops," have failed to take into account the reactions of beekeepers.
A PERC report quotes economists Randal Rucker and Walter Thurman, explaining: "The overblown response to CCD in the media stems from a failure to appreciate the resilience of markets in accommodating shocks of various sorts."
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from environmentalists who tried to block almost 80,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana in an effort to force companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon said in his ruling that the emissions from future drilling activities would be too small — only a fraction of 1 percent of total emissions in the state — to make a "meaningful contribution" to global greenhouse gas levels.
As the demand for fresh water for hydraulic fracturing accelerates in the Williston Basin, a Virginia company has tapped into what it considers to be a new "significant quantity" of water from underground fractures in McKenzie County.
The demand for water has now reached 20 million gallons a day for all the drilling in North Dakota, according to the ND Dept. of Mineral Resources.
A new source of water is important. There are an estimated 80 permitted water depots now serving the oilfield in western North Dakota.
Norstra Energy reported that they are set to begin permitting and casing the first well in their approximately 18k-acre block South Sun River Prospect, an over-pressure Bakken shale play in the heart of the Montana Bakken Fairway in Lewis & Clark County.
President and CEO of NORX, Glen Landry, emphasized the potential of the area by pointing to the relevant seismic data, which offers a clear picture of a contiguous Bakken thrust sheet that is not broken by any faults.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103