A government without selfless leadership can be likened to a ship without a rudder, blown about by every wind of doctrine and politically expedient policies designed to maintain control, rather than serve the people.
The evidence of this is represented in North Dakota by the absence of a common sense energy policy that would address the current oilfield development impact problems while capitalizing on the potential oil and gas revenue for our state and its citizens. We have the opportunity at this time in history to implement common sense legislation that would effect long term wealth for the state and therefore enable the elimination of property and income taxation in addition to a reduction of state sales tax rates. But more importantly, we have a solemn responsibility to protect our citizens from excessive danger and personal risk as they travel the state in their daily pursuits.
The current heavy truck traffic due to increased oilfield activity in the western part of North Dakota has become a matter of life and death to every citizen who travels within the area and this issue must be addressed immediately before one more innocent life is lost.
Conventional political ideology would suggest that we need to raise taxes on all the citizens of the state and build more roads in western North Dakota to accommodate the huge increase in heavy truck and industrial traffic. However, building roads will take years and as anyone knows, road construction decreases travel safety and impedes the normal flow of traffic during the construction period, complicating an already dangerous situation that requires an immediate solution. Furthermore, the people are already crushed by the current burden of taxation.
The obvious solution is to reduce heavy truck traffic immediately by implementing a well planned development of the North Dakota oil and gas fields as opposed to the “wildcatter” approach currently underway.
Multiple well locations are the solution.
Currently we are drilling a well in about 30 days, which means we are moving the drilling rig every 30 to 40 days. With our current rig count this means we are moving 80 plus rigs per month on North Dakota roads and highways. By implementing a multiple well location strategy we could reduce the rig move to every 6 or 8 months instead, providing a decrease of up to 800% in heavy truck traffic.
In addition, 6 or 8 wells per location would warrant drilling a fresh water well on location to supply the drilling fluid needs and onsite living quarters requirements during the drilling process. This would further eliminate heavy truck traffic hauling fresh water to location.
Finally, we can reduce our waste water removal traffic by installing waste water disposal pipelines during the gas and oil pipeline installations to transport the waste water generated by each well to a centralized disposal facility.
These simple actions will dramatically reduce the heavy truck traffic threats normally associated with oilfield construction and maintenance, increasing the safe travel conditions for the residents of western North Dakota while bigger and better roads are built to sustain the long term expansion of our energy fields.
Drilling in North Dakota has increased under the Obama administration due to an inherent opposition by the left for oil and gas exploration on federally owned lands. So while other oil and gas producing states wherein the energy fields are typically located on state and federal lands struggle to obtain leases and permits from the Federal and State governments, North Dakota’s mineral rights are predominantly privately owned.
TREASURE ISLAND - COINS AND PRECIOUS METALS
This works to our advantage in the rig count, but it works against the state in raising long term oil revenue wealth for the state because the royalty revenues normally available to the public are privately owned. The oil extraction tax generates viable state revenue but it is only a small portion of what could be available to state revenues if standard royalties or percentages were generated additionally.
Currently across the state the people are crying out for property tax relief, but the success of this ballot initiative will depend upon the ability of the state to replace the property tax revenues with another source of revenue to fund schools, roads and social program spending.
State minority ownership of oil and gas wells is the solution to long term wealth for North Dakota which would enable the complete elimination of both property and income taxes without a loss of critical revenue.
I propose that we take our current budget surplus and the surpluses for the next 2 years and invest into the oil and gas wells to obtain long term residual income for the state. This 2 year investment plan would require a continuation of the current tax rates and a freeze or reduction in current spending, allowing a potential 2.5 to 3 billion dollars to be invested with a potential 40 to 50 year return on investment. These residual returns combined with the oil extraction tax would easily surpass the current revenue totals making way for permanent tax relief and a secure financial future for North Dakota and its residents.
We have a responsibility to our posterity to act prudently at this time in our history and implement sound fiscal policy that will have a sustained positive impact on our communities for years to come.
Cost to drill a well 6,000,000.00
Cost of 30% ownership 1,800,000.00
Average oil production per well 50 barrels per day
State portion of production per well 15 barrels per day @ $50.00 per barrel
Projected state revenue per well $750 per day = $273,750.00 per year
Potential Annual Revenue Based on Investment
$500,000.00 to $1,000,000,000.00 per year