Statoil to make more investments in Bakken

WILLISTON Statoil, an oil and gas company, has invested $8 billion in the Bakken and the company plans to invest $20 billion a year worldwide between 2014 and 2016 for a total of $60 billion, said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., during a visit to the Williston Tuesday.

Up to a quarter of that funding, $15 billion total, will go to North America, including to the Bakken in North Dakota. Since 2011, the company has doubled production in the Williston Basin to about 50,000 barrels a day.

Hoeven, meeting with Torstein Hole, Statoil senior vice president for Onshore Operations, in Williston, said Statoil, working with North Dakota and other partners, can help create energy independence for the United States and reduce European reliance on Russian natural gas.

Statoil, a Norwegian oil and gas company with operations in 34 countries including the U.S., is not only producing more energy, but it is also using technology to do so with better environmental stewardship. For example, in partnership with General Electric, the company is beginning to implement Compressed Natural Gas in a Box, a technology that captures natural gas that would otherwise be flared and moves it by tank and truck to wherever it is needed. Some parts of the gas are shipped to processing plants and others are compressed and shipped to the oil fields.

Several years ago Statoil converted its Bakken drilling fleet from diesel-powered to a bi-fuel system, enabling them to replace 50 percent of the diesel it uses on its rigs with less expensive, cleaner burning natural gas.