Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Industrial commission rejects Killdeer drilling request


Industrial commission rejects Killdeer drilling request

The North Dakota Industrial Commission on Wednesday denied a Killdeer Mountains landowner’s request to reconsider a permit granted by the commission in January to drill eight new oil wells by Hess Corp.
Loren Jepson filed a request with the commission Feb. 7, saying among other things, state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms was biased in his recommendation to approve the new wells in an area where four already have been approved.
Hope Hogan, an assistant attorney general for the state, told the commission none of Jepson’s four reasons for requesting reconsideration were valid under state law.
Jepson’s attorney, Thomas Gehrz, said he was not given advanced notice of Wednesday’s meeting and requested a delay in a letter to the commission.
State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said the meetings are public record and notification is not required.
A second reason Jepson cited was not being given an opportunity to respond to testimony at a Jan. 24 meeting when the commission granted the permit.
Stenehjem said public comment was accepted at that meeting because of the high profile nature of the area in question.
Other contentions from Jepson that the commission did not follow proper procedure for allowing evidence in the matter and that Helms was biased also were rejected.
Neither Jepson nor his attorney were at Wednesday’s meeting.
Reach reporter Brian Gehring 250-8254 or brian.gehring@bismarcktribune.com.