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Published September 16, 2013, 05:54 PM

ND Petroleum Council kicks off annual meeting

The North Dakota Petroleum Council kicked off its annual meeting Monday. And for the first time it's right here in Grand Forks.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council kicked off its annual meeting Monday. And for the first time it's right here in Grand Forks.

Nearly 800 people are registered, making it the council's biggest meeting yet. NDPC officials say one of the biggest questions surrounding the 32nd annual conference is, why Grand Forks? The council's president Ron Ness says one of the main reasons it's at the Alerus Center is because Grand Forks officials pushed hard for several years to get the group here. Also, Ness cites the growing presence of UND's involvement with the oil boom, and he says more than 100 local companies are doing business in the Bakken. Monday is community day. There are several education sessions scheduled, and even a free barbeque.

More than 3,000 pounds of meat is being cooked. The conference continues through Wednesday. Meetings will address issues like environmental and regulation concerns, and focus on where the industry goes from here.

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