April 9, 2010

A model for oil country

A model for oil country
New access road sets a precedent for efficiency
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

Scott Ruland isn’t sure if Marathon Oil Co., has done him a favor or not, but now that it’s done, he says every oil access road should look like the one that now meanders through his pasture.
Ruland, who lives on a farm near Reunion Bay, said Three Way Inc. came in with men and machines about the middle of February and three weeks later left with a two-mile road in place for Marathon Oil that he said was incredibly well built, looks good from the farm and should serve as a model for efficiency.
“This is what should be done all over the county,” Ruland said. “If they’re making that kind of money, it should be reclaimed like this. We’ve made North Dakota rich, now let’s bring some of our land back.”
Terry Kovacevich, the North Dakota asset manager for Marathon Oil, said Three Way built the road with proper reclamation in mind, but added Marathon builds all its roads like the one near Ruland’s.
Three Way is a company that has a lot of experience, normally building access roads in Wyoming
“It’s a typical process,” Kovacevich said. “We do it that way so impacts are minimized. We had several members of our team on Scott’s place and I’m proud of the team that worked on it.”
Ruland, who says he doesn’t necessarily like to see oil wells in his back yard, said this road is certainly one way for oil companies to improve relationships with the locals.
He said he has two other oil wells on the farm and those sites look terrible, but didn’t mention which oil company maintained them.
Ruland explained Three Way took a number of things into consideration when building the road. They put rocks and straw in place for erosion control, they spiked straw into the ground so the wind won’t blow it away, four culverts instead of three were installed in a drainage area to ensure the road won’t wash out and twice the recommended grass has been planted so Ruland can hay the ditches or perhaps allow cattle or deer to graze.
 


The Weather Network