Remember Parts of 2016

The national mood on energy development is always changing and never the same from region to region. Depending on the mood of the decision maker or the region he or she is from, energy development can be greatly impacted, especially in the Bakken.
By Luke Geiver | December 17, 2016

The national mood on energy development is always changing and never the same from region to region. Depending on the mood of the decision maker or the region he or she is from, energy development can be greatly impacted. Because of the Dakota Access pipeline protest saga, the Bakken is a prime example of this, of a place impacted by decision makers who are both absent from a particular energy development region and hold a particularly negative perspective on the region-specific energy development, all based on, and influenced by, non-related issues. 

This month, Staff Writer and Photographer Patrick C. Miller explored the lessons learned from the protest drama in the Bakken. His feature, “Telling The Bakken's True Story,” reveals  multiple themes, including one that could be taken as a call to action to all Bakken-linked entities large and small involved in energy development. Every group needs to help in influencing the mood on energy development. Communication plans and messages have to be in place for both formal and informal occasions. That means doing more to tell the positive story and impact of the Bakken’s development and the greater oil and gas industry as well. 

Activities and outreach efforts by several industry groups have already done so much for the Bakken and created, for the most part, a state well-educated, well-versed and in favor of the amazing impact of the Bakken, and, on a larger scale, unconventional oil development and the efforts necessary to make it happen.  However, even with so much accomplished, more needs to be done. As Miller writes, it’s not enough anymore for a company to simply keep its figurative head down and just do their figurative job. In a time when information—true or not—is available and updated by the minute, providing constant, accurate and important information is no longer an option, it is a must. Tell your story, or let someone else tell it for you. 

While Miller’s report helps explain a major PR-related issue impacting the global production of oil and gas, we also feature a Bakken-specific piece looking at early plans for 2017 by operators and drilling rig providers each. And, don’t let the negative connotations of the NoDAPL movement cloud the reality of the Bakken. I’m excited for you to read our second feature, “Glancing At 2017: Bakken Activity Expectations.” Among the topics covered in it, the clearest ones point to a positive mood and ramp-up plans––elements that were difficult to find in 2016. The story went to press before the oil-price-boosting OPEC decision came to adjust production volumes amongst members. The mood has only gotten better since OPEC’s move and when we look beyond 2016 or the DAPL protests that marred the back half of the year, we can already see how different and important 2017 will be to the Bakken. We look forward to talking with you or writing for you in 2017. Thank you, Luke Geiver