Industry Innovation Award

Western Dakota Energy Association - Wise Roads
Western Dakota Energy Associations' Wise Roads program helps improve commerce by effectively monitoring weather conditions which assists counties in managing roads. This program provides accurate information to assist county road departments in more precisely identifying roads that require closures or restrictions. Road closures have a significant impact on the oil and gas industry in Wester North Dakota. Having the ability to know which roads can remain open, reduces the economic impact of road closures.

Liberty Resources
Liberty Resources is working towards enhancing oil recovery in the Bakken. Currently oil recovery is between 5% and 10%. With this new technology, oil recovery could be brought up to 15% to 20%. The process makes use of rich gas to produce more oil and helps improve recovery factors within environmental compliances. The success of this project will have an incredibly large economic impact on North Dakota and the Williston Basin.

SkyScopes is developing drone technology for use gathering data from the oilfields and pipelines. Incidents involving drilling are the number one safety concern in this industry. By using a drone instead of a person for leak detection and location surveys, this keeps the person out of harms way. The technology also allows operators to be more time efficient while creating unique job opportunities within the industry.

Community Service Award

KLX Energy Services
KLX Energy Services continues to be an active community member, contributing volunteer hours and financial resources to charities in the Bakken. KLX strives to participate and promote several community programs and fundraising events such as: Williston API, Bras for a Cause, NDPC, WSC, and Montana Tech, just to name a few. Their dedication to their community service and outreach efforts has shown to be pivotal with their business model in retaining a continuous relationship in the community with the outmost respect.

Creedence Energy Services
Creedence’s guiding principles include “Lead with a Servant Heart” and “Give Gratitude”. Team members not only apply these principles internally, but also extend them to the communities they call home by helping those in need and participating in numerous community events. They support and encourage Williston’s youth through contributions to school events, Oilfield Helping Hands, Clean Williston, Band Day, Rockin’ Ribfest, Williston State College Foundation, Lemonade Day, Bakken Field Trip, STEM Programs, and the Career Expo.

Equinor is dedicated to promoting education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in Northwest North Dakota. Their mulit-pronged Bakken STEM program brings together educators and students to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for and prepare the next generation for careers in the industry. The program is focused on providing interactive learning and sponsoring STEM activities to bring together industry volunteers and kids. Equinor is also a proud supporter of many other community initiatives.

Outstanding Achievement - Group

Secure Energy Services
In 2012, Secure established its operation in Williston. They strive to be good stewards of the community by volunteering numerous hours of their times and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community. Along with this, their customer services is second to none. A few ways they have supported the community are: donation of TENORM monitoring equipment to the Williston Fire Department, donation of bullet proof vests to the Williston Police Department and support of the ND Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership the past 2 years.

Noble Casing
Noble Casing has been a leader in oilfield service for the last 10 years in the Bakken. Building a company to last, they have held a majority market share, while always giving back to the community through local sponsorships of events and donations for charitable causes. Noble Casing has driven the energy industry towards performance efficiency as well as investing in the safety, quality, and training of oilfield workers. They also take care of their employees along with their families in a way that makes Noble Casing second to none.

Evolution Completion
As a successful locally-owned service provider demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of its under 40-year-old owner, Evolution’s employment practices, engineering, equipment, efficiencies and commitment to delivering a service line that is conscious of environmental impact and the legacy of the region have made significant contributions to the energy industry in Williston. With the same service dedication that Evolution delivers in its operations, they duly give back by sponsoring numerous local causes.

Outstanding Achievement - Individual

Ron Ness
For the past twenty years, Ron Ness has led the North Dakota Petroleum Council, the voice of the oil and gas industry in our state. His leadership had led to industry success on many levels, in the legislative realm, the regulatory realm and state and national industry communications. Ron is a visionary leader and has inspired industry initiatives in numerous ways. The list of Ron’s accomplishments and efforts towards advocacy for the North Dakota oil and gas industry is very long and his successes are numerous.

Darren Schimdt
As the SPE Section Chairman, Darren is an advisor to the UND Student SPE Section. He is a member of the UND Industrial Advisory Committee for the Petroleum Engineering Department and North Dakota Oil & Gas Research Council. Darren has previously served on the Williston Basin Chapter of Boards. As an active member of all these organizations and the positions mentioned, and working for Equinor, Darren is well known in the area.

Dr. Vamegh Rasouli
Dr. Vamegh Rasouli is the department chair for Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota and Continental Resources Distinguished Professor. Dr. Rasoli has been the lightning rod to establish advanced laboratories sponsored by industry, and to continuously seek improvements for the department. The latest achievement has been a cooperative program with Williston State College in which students can begin their Petroleum Engineering education in Williston and seamlessly progress through the department with the final two years at UND. Our industry is proud to have a Petroleum Engineering offering in the State of North Dakota and continues to offer great careers for all disciplines that anticipate entering our workforce in Western North Dakota.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Larry Laqua
Larry, pictured left, was born in 1944 to Leo and Irene Laqua. He was raised in Hanks, ND and graduated from Grenora High School then attended college in Williston.

Larry taught and coached baseball in Egaland, ND. Larry has also worked at various places in Williston including Tatco, Coca-Cola, Reed Tool Company, Window World, Spec Tech, and Norris Rods. Larry retired form the oilfield in 2013.

Larry was a very active member of the Williston API for many years serving as secretary and treasurer. His committee leadership with the golf tournament and chili cook-ff for many years resulted in successful events.

Larry was also involved in the Williston Basin Skating Club. His cooking skills were a great contribution for fundraisers for the local club at state tournaments as well as events throughout the summer.

In 1972, he marred Maureen Hinsverk. In 1976, the world became a better place with the birth of their son Ryan. In 2011, Ryan married Jackie Johansen. Larry and Maureen are proud grandparents of their granddaughters Paige, Kirsten, and Ella and great grandson Blayze. Larry enjoys hunting, fishing, gardening and spending winters in Arizona.

Gary Routh
Born October 10, 1951 in Red Lodge, Montana, Gary (pictured right) moved to Williston at the age of 6 and attended school from 1st through 12th grades, graduating from Williston High School in 1969. He spent his summers returning to the mountains of Montana at Cooke City, to go fly fishing with his father and grandfather. In 1970, he marred his high school sweetheart Camille Smestad. He attended UND Williston for 2 years while working three part-time jobs at Simonson’s Gas Station and doing construction and farm work.

In March 1972, Gary started working at National Supply which was a division of Armco Steel (currently Distribution Now). In September 1978, Gary transferred to Sidney, MT to open a new store and was promoted to Store Manager. In October 1981, Gary transferred back to Williston with a promotion to Regional Sales Manager and has been in the sales department ever since.

Gary has always been active in API meeting and activities in the Williston, Sidney and Dickinson areas. He helped organize and participated in API golf tournaments in Williston for many years. He also helps to raise money and donations as well as providing space for storage of API equipment and is always ready to help with whatever is needed from cleanup to cooking. He attends other API and SPE golf tournaments in Billings and Dickinson as will as energy industry tournaments in Minot, Kenmare and Plentywood. One tournament Gary looked forward to was the Baker Tournament as he always seemed to win big door prizes. He co-managed the Williston API Chili Cook-off for many years and always managed to have a successful venture.
Gary always attended the Montana Tech Symposium in Butte. He felt that this was a great event that was sponsored by the Montana Tech Petroleum Department and the student chapter of the SPE. For him it was a great way for the petroleum professionals like himself and the students to learn from each other and make valuable contacts. He is always willing to break out the National BBQ wagon for industry events and for customer appreciation events. He helped cook at the Glendive Bird and Birdies event for may years.

Gary’s hobbies include golfing, fishing, and hunting. He is a regular at the Kenmare Goose Fest. He enjoys cards, pinochle, poker, and supposedly plays a mean ping pong game. He used to raise and race homing pigeons. He follows the Vikings and Twins and regularly goes to Minneapolis to attend games. He has no problem getting in front of a camera.

He has two children and four grandchildren who live in West Fargo, ND and Hawley, MN.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Heidi Scott
Heidi Scott has been volunteering since 2015 and helps with all of our events from stuffing envelopes at committee meetings and ditty bags at the Golf Tournament, to setting up and tearing down the Golf Tournament Banquet. Her and her mother, Crysie, have planned, designed, purchased, and set up the banquet for the Golf Tournament the last three years all by themselves. She also sells 50/50 and raffle tickets at the Chili Cook-Off and Golf Tournament. She is usually the first to show up and one of the last to leave. Recently, at our $1 Million Celebration she served the food during both lunch and supper. She also helped staff the API booth during the Bakken Oil Show and Trail of Treats. Heidi doesn’t ask for anything in return; she loves and supports the Williston Basin Chapter of API. She is so deserving of this award.

MVP Award

Monte Besler
It’s not hard to see that the FracN8R embodies the qualities of a Most Valuable Person to our chapter of the API. There are many people in this room, and many more that are not here, that know, understand, and appreciate the value Monte brings to every oil and gas organization, group, or the industry as a whole. It’s been said in the past, Monte is a go-to resource and known to our peers as the encyclopedia of Oil Field Technology, and always willing to help and mentor others in this industry. Monte has contributed his talents to many universities, industry councils, and groups like the Williston SPE, and most certainly to the Williston API.