2018 OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MONTANA PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION
A view from the trenches
At the Montana Petroleum Association,
we continue to ght the
good ght for Montana’s oil and
gas industry and all our member
companies. e last downturn took
a toll on the Association’s membership
and budget, but we still managed
to have another successful legislative
We overcame continued e orts by
the same cast of industry opponents
to add costs and unnecessary regulation
to exploration and production
activities. We reached an agreement
to mirror Wyoming’s disclosure laws
on hydraulic fracturing (HF) without
infringing on proprietary information
that allows companies to remain competitive. And we extended the tax
exemption on pollution control equipment for industrial properties.
Today, our numbers are rising along with oil prices.
But there’s been no shortage of work over the last year. With the
support of various working committees within MPA, I’ve been actively
involved in continued meetings with the Sage Grouse Oversight
Team, as well as air and water quality rule-making with legislative
interim committees and the Department of Environmental Quality
(DEQ). MPA is also closely following a petition for zoning in Stillwater
County and hearings by the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation,
which has also been busy dra ing rules to accompany sage grouse
mitigation and HF disclosure requirements.
While North Dakota works to establish a regulatory body to approve
new disposal sites for radioactive (TENORM) material, we expect new
TENORM rules from the Montana DEQ later this fall. During the initial
comment period, MPA worked closely with DEQ and will continue
to do so to ensure that the oil and gas industry is not unfairly targeted
in new rules on waste management and disposal.
Beyond state and local regulatory a airs, MPA has continued
to weigh in on federal proposals as well. We’ve been following the
long-awaited nal determination on the enforcement of the Bureau
of Land Management’s proposed revision of the venting and aring
rule. With more than a 95 percent capture rate of otherwise ared
emissions in Montana, we are con dent in Montana’s ability to regulate
methane gas from well sites.
We’ll be seeing modest price increases in the air registration program
administered by the DEQ, however, costs to producers in Montana
will still be less than what operators are paying to certify production
sites in North Dakota.
Despite the recent incentives¬¬ for pollution control equipment,
taxes assessed on industrial facilities in Montana, including pipelines,
are far greater than in neighboring states. We continue to reach to
downstream members ahead of the 2019 Session to determine a potential
Speaking of pipelines, four of MPA’s member-companies are planning
to begin work on new pipelines within the next year. TransCanada
has announced plans to begin construction on the Keystone XL
pipeline in January. Protests have already begun, corresponding with
yet another lawsuit to ‘bury the project’.
ONEOK is planning the construction of a $2.4 billion-dollar natural gas
liquids pipeline to travel from Sidney down the eastern Montana border
to Kansas, while CHS is building out additional pipeline capacity to move
re ned products from their Montana re nery to Minot, North Dakota.
Denbury Resources, Montana’s largest petroleum producer, announced
plans for a CO2 pipeline from the Powder River Basin to
the Cedar Creek Anticline. e pipeline would cooccur with an enhanced
oil recovery plan in eastern Montana.
With the Dakota Access Protest in North Dakota now in the rearview
mirror, we remain vigilant about keeping an ear to the ground
ahead of large-scale protests in Montana. Protests are becoming more
prevalent, along with push-back from many of the same groups we’ve
been at odds with for years.
While we do our very best to keep tabs on all threats to the industry
around the state, the small sta of MPA also relies on your input
to help ensure our members are represented at meetings and events
regarding proposals a ecting oil and gas regulation.
I want to thank you all for trusting me to serve as your executive
director and look forward to seeing you on our statewide 2018 legislative
brie ng tour this fall.