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Resource ID: #25667
Subject: Oil
Source: Platts
Date: 2012-08-30



It's no secret that oil and natural gas production is booming in North Dakota. But there are indeed countless secrets — technical, strategic and otherwise — associated with many of the wells that are being drilled in the Roughrider State. North Dakota maintains something called a “Confidential Well List.” Under state law, certain information about the 1,800-plus wells on this list -- such as production levels, geographical data and engineering specifications - is kept from the public for six months. North Dakota regulators argue that there are legitimate reasons for keeping this data from the public, such as encouraging so-called “wildcat” drilling operations in remote or undeveloped areas where little or nothing is known about the subsurface geology. But other oil and gas-producing states are sharply curtaining their use of such policies, saying they are outdated and conflict with the principles of open government. Wyoming, for example, recently revised its policy on the grounds that granting confidential status without good reason was inhibiting “the timely dissemination of well information to the public.”

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