mountrail williams linesmen work at bakken oilfield site

Williston Basin oilfield producers in two North Dakota counties will be seeing a special break on their upcoming monthly electrical statements per the approval of the directors of Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative.

The widespread impact applies to approximately 10,000 well sites and gas processing plants and will start in May.

The breaks will be in capacity charge for commercial MWEC members total $735,000 a month in savings beginning with the current billing cycle and will be applied through December usage. In addition, those same oilfield members will benefit from MWEC’s return of capital credits to all members for years 2013 and prior totaling $12.3 million.

At the end of the year, MWEC directors will take another look at their decision.

The action came about as MWEC fielded calls form the producers asking if there was anything the Coop could do to help reduce their costs in light of severe economic impact imposed by the COVID-19 virus and low crude oil prices.

“We were worried about the economics as well as we looked at all facets of the business,” said General Manager Dale Haugen. “We recognize the hardships, and we too understand the financial pain our members are feeling.”

“As an electrical service provider, we took a hard look at what we could do,” Haugen said. “Our financial policy makes us stay in a certain range so we decided that the capacity charge based on the size of the transformer, which in most cases is 50 KVA or greater, would be the best area where we could offer a discount.”

The discount was lauded by Ron Ness, president of the ND Petroleum Council.

“Since the discovery of the Bakken, Mountrail-Williams has ramped up electrical supply for the oilfield,” Ness said. “By giving this discount, they have become big partners with the oil industry, and we applaud them for their efforts.”