October 20, 2015

HESS has eyes on office in McKenzie County

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

Hess Corporation, one of the major oil companies operating in McKenzie County, is currently examining the possibility of adding a field office in the Watford City area. At this time, Hess has offices in Minot, Tioga, Keene, Killdeer, and Fryberg.
“We have significant operation south of the river so we are examining the possibility of adding a field office in the area,” said Maria Effertz-Hanson, Community Relations manager for Hess in the Bakken. “Locating a field office closer to these operations would improve efficiency and be of value to our employees.”
According to Effertz-Hanson, there is currently no timetable for the possible opening of a field office in McKenzie County. But with approximately 550 employees working in North Dakota for Hess, opening an office in McKenzie County would definitely be of great value to their employees, especially the ones working in the Bakken area.
“We are examining several options south of the river as we have significant operations in the area,” stated Effertz-Hanson. “Regardless, we plan to keep our central North Dakota office located in Minot.”
According to Effertz-Hanson, Hess Corporation moved its headquarters from Williston to Minot in 2010. And with North Dakota at the center of the national shale oil and gas boom, much of the technology, production processes, drilling techniques, and work ethic are being perfected here. And Hess has held a big piece of that.
However, in July Hess sold a 50 percent interest in its Bakken midstream assets to Global Infrastructure Partners for a cash consideration of approximately $3 million net.
Those assets included the natural gas processing plant and a rail loading terminal, both of which were located in Tioga, a crude oil truck and pipeline terminal in Williams County, a propane storage cavern and rail truck transloading facility in Minnesota, and crude oil and natural gas gathering systems in North Dakota.
Hess retained a 50 percent interest in those assets and will operate them as contract service providers. And employees working in those areas have remained Hess employees.
 North Dakota has been a home to Hess for more than 60 years. It was Hess that discovered the first oil well in the Bakken in 1951 on the Clarence Iverson farm, eight miles south of Tioga. Hess still remains a major employer in that same area today.
“We continue to look at long-term community growth in our planning efforts,” stated Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Job Development Authority executive director. “Companies like Hess need the kinds of life-enhancing community development projects such as schools, hospitals, and recreational facilities to help them recruit long-term employees. Hess is especially interesting in that they have a historic presence in this community since 1952.”
“If Hess or another oil company decided to add a field office here, it would obviously be a great addition to the community,” said Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford. “It would demonstrate a great commitment to their current and future employees. More importantly, in the current oil price environment, it would be a very positive sign for the future economics of this area.”