With oil activity about to ramp up exponentially in Bottineau County and increasing steadily in counties to the west, Minot is poised to become an epicenter for oilfield companies moving into and expanding in northwest North Dakota.
That makes Minot an all-too-fitting host for the 2010 annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, scheduled to take place from Tuesday to Thursday, Sept. 21-23.
The event will feature several opportunities for attendees to mix and network, including a reception Tuesday evening at the Holiday Inn Riverside.
Wednesday's activities kick off with a golf tournament and a trap-shooting event, held at Minot Country Club and Souris Valley Golf Course, and Minot Gun Club, respectively. Wednesday evening, a social and banquet will be held at Holiday Inn Riverside, including 2010 NDPC Hall of Fame inductions and entertainment by comedian, ventriloquist and magician Andy Gross.
On Thursday, the meeting "gets down to business" with several guest speakers presenting on a wide variety of topics.
Justin Kringstad of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority will make a presentation on North Dakota's export capacity, while Brent Brannan of the Oil and Gas Research Council and Monte Besler of Hohn Engineering will talk about exploration and production topics.
Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., and Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate Rick Berg will also speak to the gathering, with Pomeroy appearing via video link.
More topical to northwest North Dakota, however, will be a local issues and impacts panel moderated by N.D. Department of Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle. Mayors Mike Hynek of Stanley and Ward Koeser of Williston will be joined on that panel by Reinhard Hauck, auditor of Dunn County, and Greg Boschee of the Mountrail County commission.
President Ron Ness of the NDPC will then moderate a legislative preview panel. State senators Rich Wardner, Stan Lyson, Bob Horne and John Warner will be joined by representatives Bab Skarphol, David Drovdal, Shirley Meyer and Kenton Onstad.
The keynote address will be delivered during the industry luncheon by Steve Wuori of Enbridge Pipelines, entitled "Capacity Challenges and Opportunities in the Bakken."
"It's shaping up to be a big event," Ness said Wednesday. "The industry and western North Dakota are humming along with Bakken development. We are seeing massive investment in the billions taking place to develop the resource and we expect that to continue."
"The Petroleum Council's 29th Annual Meeting is going to focus on some of the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry and local communities," he said of the event, which is not open to the general public. "It also a chance for industry leaders to gather and visit about business development and hopefully get a chance to relax and golf or do something fun for a day or two."