Billings Firm Fined $5,000 By Board of Oil and Gas For Fracking Toole County Wells

By Darryl L. Flowers | Posted: Monday, December 15, 2014 3:52 pm

• Failed to notify Board prior to fracking

American Midwest Oil & Gas Corporation of Billings, Montana has been fined $5,000 by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) for failing to notify the agency before undertaking fracturing of two wildcat wells in Toole County.

The company fracked the Koenig  12-33, which has a surface hole location, or SHL, at SW NW 33-35N-1E (2250 FNL/400 FWL) and the Koenig 32-32, which has an SHL at SW NE 32-35N-1E (2250 FNL/2150 FEL).

Both wells are verticals that were permitted to the Duperow Formation one year ago. The wells had a permitted depth of 3,200 feet. The wells are listed as oil wells. Their current status is “spud.”

American Midwest was fined $2,500 for each well.

The company operates four wells in Montana, according to the BOGC database, including the two Koenig wells. The other two wells, the Johannsen 1-19 and the Stewart  10-18, are gassers located in Toole County’s East Kevin Gas Field.


FrackNation Viewing Party A Success

Program will be rebroadcast on AXS TV

Phelim McAleer, co-director and producer of the documentary FrackNation, was in Helena for the film premier and free viewing event hosted by the Montana Petroleum Association on the 22nd.

“One of the most important aspects of our job is education,” said Dave Galt in a press release before the event. “We’ve got to present the public with the facts on the oil and gas industry, and the opportunities it creates right here in the Treasure State.”

Phelim McAleer described FrackNation as, “Pro-truth and pro-investigative journalism. It reveals the exaggerations and frauds that are at the heart of the anti-fracking movement and the length activists will go to reach their goal of banning fracking.”

MPA filled the house with over 150 people, including a huge turnout of legislators, a petroleum engineers with the DNRC in Montana, Attorney General Tim Fox, Tom Richmond with the Board of Oil & Gas, various MPA members, and many from the general public.

FrackNation will be re-broadcast on AXS TV Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 am Mountain Time and Wednesday, February 6 at 10 pm Mountain Time.

AXS TV is available on Dish Netowrk channels 362 and 9422; and on DirectTV channel 340.

– Montana Petroleum Association

“FrackNation” Takes On “Gasland”

Ann McElhinney at the April 12, Glendive, MT sneak preview of “FrackNation.” Photos Courtesy Bob van der Valk
By Bob van der Valk

TERRY, MONTANA – The word “passionate” is the one word comes to mind immediately upon first meeting documentary filmmaker Ann McElhinney.   She shared her current passion explaining hydraulic fracturing or shale oil and gas by showing a sneak peak of her film “FrackNation” to a crowd of over 50 people.

The event was held Thursday night, April 12th  at the MidRivers community meeting room in Glendive, MT, which was hosted by “The Eastern Montana Patriots Organization” (TEMPO) and sponsored by the “Montana Policy Institute” (MPI).

Carl Graham, who is the CEO of MPI and made the introduction of Ann McElhinney, said she was asked to speak to the mostly Eastern Montana audience in attendance to raise awareness about hydraulic fracturing and its consequences.

“Competing documentaries are made from different viewpoints,” is how Ann McElhinney describes the film she and her husband are in the middle of making. “FrackNation”will be about the oil industry’s safe practices of hydraulic fracturing known as fracking.

It will also respond to “Gasland,” a film made by Josh Fox, which raised concerns about the safety of hydraulic fracturing.  It shows the purported affects in areas of our country where methane is released along with the drinking water with hydraulic fracking.  This affect of nature has been occurring in the area of the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania for the last 400 years.

The Glendive presentation was her only stop in Montana after she toured the area around the Bakken and Three Forks oil shale developments.  She has already given presentations in Minot and Bismarck, ND before heading home for Hollywood and back with her husband Phelim Mcaleer, who is the co-producer of their latest documentary.

“Towns like Glendive, Baker, Circle and Terry are going to have their growing pains, but I don’t think anyone wants the oil production to go away”.  Most of the people she met on her tour have given her great encouragement to go through with her project in order to straighten out the misinformation being published by the environmentalist groups who are against any kind of fossil fuel production.

McElhinney pointed out major discrepancies featured in “Gasland”.  She told her very attentive Glendive crowd how the water in Dimock, PA has been flammable for hundreds of years.  Controversy has been brewing between the eleven families suing the oil companies and the other 1500 families not willing to join the class action lawsuit and the negative publicity brought on by all the media attention from the GasLand film.

McElhinney also commented about the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling frequently against hydraulic fracturing and just reversed its decisions in Pavillion, WY, Fort Worth, TX, and Dimock, PA.  The anti-fracking ruling and threat or huge potential fines are costing the oil and gas exploration millions of dollars in legal costs.

McElhinney and her husband produced several other documentaries debunking environmentalists’ cases against different issues, such as mining in Romania.

She sought out the Sierra Club, GreenPeace and the National Wildlife Association for special skepticism in their well funded attempts to halt all oil drilling anywhere to make the US no longer dependent on fossil fuels.  Her question to them is: “If not fossil fuels, then what do we use for our daily energy consumption?”

The premiere of the movie “The China Syndrome” coincided with the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant disaster.  It doomed nuclear energy as one of the alternative energy sources for the immediate future and not one new nuclear power plant has been built since March 1972.

“Environmentalists are terrifying average people with well made movies and making documentaries presenting untrue facts, which are easily debunked with the truth.”

Ann McElhinney saved her real harsh words about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) current dealings with sustainability.  Sustainability has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth and consumption of our natural resources.

In its early years, EPA acted primarily as the nation’s environmental watchdog, striving to ensure that industries met legal requirements to control pollution. In subsequent years, EPA began to develop theory, tools, and practices that enabled it to move from controlling pollution to preventing it.

Today EPA aims to make sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology to protect human health and the environment, and promoting innovative green business practices.

Greg Cross, owner of Cross Petroleum in Glendive, MT, attended this sneak preview.  He commented after the presentation: “The movie is not yet set for release but the promo was excellent. The lessons learned are simple; the anti-fossil fuels crowd is winning the propaganda battle as most of the pro- side is busy making a living and most important we can win IF we can maximize our involvement in social networking, i.e. Twitter and FaceBook to make our opinions known we can make a difference.”

He further said:  “My thoughts are that we should have a break-out session during our convention to set up and teach us how to take advantage of this opportunity. Frack Nation tweeted and FaceBooked to raise almost $250,000 in a very short time to finance their documentary on  We first need someone to teach us in layman’s terms how to Tweet and FaceBook on a computer or smart phone.”

Matt Damon, the actor, and Gus Van Sant, a prominent director, are making an anti-fossil propaganda film this summer which will likely become another Oscar nominee like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”.  The latter created fear in people about climate change having an immediate affect on our lives if we continue to depend on fossil fuels as our mainstay.   Ann McElhinney and Phelim Mcaleer may also be nominated for an Oscar and perhaps even the Nobel Peace Prize for being so passionate about such a controversial subject as the telling of the real story behind hydraulic fracking.

Donations for the making of this documentary are still being accepted but the producers want to maintain full transparency and keep their film free from special interests.  Monies to fund this project are not being accepted from oil companies or any of their senior executives.   FrackNation is an independent film, wants to remain independent of the oil and gas production industry.

You can follow the progress made towards funding on as well as

Bob van der Valk lives in Terry, Montana and is a Petroleum Industry Analyst.  He reports on fuel-related trends and events. You can reach him by e-mail: or at:

International Production Company Discusses Upcoming Pro-Fracking Documentary in Glendive

“If the gas industry is not allowed in, I will have to divide my land and sell it for development. My son wants to farm, but he had to get a job in the city. I won’t be able to keep it for him.” – Bill, a dairy farmer in Calicoon, NY, has been campaigning to lift the New York state ban on fracking. His land is across the road from a property belonging to the Hollywood celebrity and anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo. – “Mark Ruffalo says he is my neighbor, but he never asked me for my opinion on fracking.” From

Filmmaker Ann McElhinney, of Ann and Phelim Media, an international film production company, will discuss their upcoming feature-length documentary, FrackNation, at the Mid-Rivers Community Center in Glendive on April 12th at 6PM.

The film looks at the process of fracking and discredits much of the scaremongering surrounding the process. It also celebrates the millions whose lives have been positively transformed by this emerging industry and debunks unsubstantiated health claims surrounding the process.

“You will see what brought us to this story and why we are working so passionately to bring it to the world,” said filmmaker Phelim McAleer. “Everyone we have met in the places where fracking is happening feels frustrated because of the one-sided media coverage, misinformation and outright lies.

“The voices of those who were denied the right to develop resources on their land were silenced and those who said there was no pollution were completely ignored. FrackNation is going to change that,” said McAleer.

In order to maintain full transparency and keep the film free from special interests, the company has returned all donations from companies or senior executives in the gas industry. See the progress they have made toward funding FrackNation on

McElhinney is a journalist, documentary film director/producer. Her work examining the real life costs of environmental policies has outraged many in the environmentalist movement and she has received several deaththreats. She has been a featured speaker and lecturer in the US and internationally. Her other feature films include, Mine Your Own Business and Not Evil, Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria.

The event is sponsored by Montana Policy Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan policy research center based in Bozeman, and The Eastern Montana Patriot Organization (TEMPO). It is free and open to the public. For more information, go to