Synergy Station is the brain child of Kendall & Laura McRae which grew out of a series of trips to Williston, ND; the geographical heart of the Bakken Oil Formation. In a sincere effort to acknowledge the spark for this project, the McRaes wish to recognize the Billings, MT Big Sky Economic Development Authority sponsored Flockin’ to the Bakken economic development scouting trip. Not unlike her fellow Flockin’ participants, Laura was overwhelmed by what she experienced on the excursion into what would later be described by Kendall as a journey into chaos. Together, the couple cautiously ventured back to Williston in an effort to further understand the complexity of the chaos. To many that may have been a fool’s errand, but for the McRaes it became both the divine inspiration and driving impetus for this site.
What followed were many middle of the night conversations (after all – isn’t this when most couples actually find the time to talk?) that kept either from getting much sleep over the next several nights. What evolved was more of a concept then an actual definable idea. Over the next several weeks three primary questions plagued their waking and what should have been sleeping hours. Those questions revolving around just what is this thing we have been tossing about? Do we actually have something, and if so – what do we do with it ? And, finally, how do we make it happen.
After endless hours of discussions and many sleepless nights, the conversations came down to two undeniable realities. The first, this nation is facing a slow but oncoming train. That train represents not only a growing demand for energy worldwide, but the lack of an organized course of action capable of proactively responding to all the complexities of that burgeoning demand, both domestically and abroad. The second, is the reality that a another train, moving at a greater rate of speed is rapidly threatening to roll right over the future of Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and parts of Canada. This train is the fast developing world class oil plays in the Western Energy Corridor particularly the Bakken, the Heath and other associated shale oil formations in the region. In fact, this train is source of the chaos currently being experienced throughout the Williston Basin. Once they understood the escalating momentum of this oncoming train, and that it had no intention of stopping at the Montana – North Dakota border they had a deeper sense of urgency.
As with any rapidly approaching train, our options are limited. We could jump out of the way and avoid impact (at least with the train), remain under mobilized and get run over, or quickly work to redirect that train in a strategic manner. Not only are our lives and livelihoods at stake, but also those of future generations. A decision was reached, they actually had unwittingly come up with a pretty solid plan (in Dudley Do-Right fashion) to help redirect the train thus saving Nell. (Nell, who in this scenario represents the future of our region.)
Although they could not individually impact the impending train, they recognized that with a little synergistic effort this website could be used to deliberately direct the current and future impact of that train. The first step involved gathering and deploying a broad assortment of experience and expertise on a wide array of energy related socio-economic topics. Using this unique process they could develop a platform which would serve as a catalyst; capable of collectively and purposefully mapping a desired impact. In other words, instead of allowing this energy train to roll any further down the track; controlled only through governmental/regulatory efforts, we as a community could pre-determine its eventual impact. The power of this course of action is that as a community, a state, and a region we could wisely lay out a course for the train that would have tremendous, positive impact. At the same time we could prudently act to minimize the potential negative impact it would have on our collective futures.
Thus Synergy Station was cultivated with three separate, yet carefully crafted, purposefully inter – related functions:
By providing pertinent and up to date information Synergy Station via its community of contributors will make available the foundation for an open and continuous exchange of knowledge, experience, and ideas (communication).
By working along side one another to achieve common, focused, strategic objectives we can reduce the current level of chaos, reduce inefficiencies, and produce on continuous opportunities for the various stakeholders in our communities. As our collective efforts bring about new levels of achievement and accomplishment the potential of our futures can be maximized (collaboration).
Factors that normally limit growth associated with new technologies can be minimized as the information provided by this site serve to both improve and broaden awareness of energy related topics (education).
When taken as a whole the real life application of these three objectives take shape; where the future of the energy corridor is one of promise and positive, sustainable impact. To that end this site is intentially designed to function as a centralized source of fact based and relevant information about all aspects of energy exploration and production in the Western United States and Central Canada as well as its impact on future generations. We provide a platform where community leaders, government planners, public and independent agencies, company representatives, business owners, relevant non-profit organizations, educators, those with political interests, and those just plain interested can discuss issues, concerns, impacts, needs, potential solutions as well as connect with prospective resources.
At Synergy Station topics of discourse will range from policy to procedures, from operations to complications and from opportunities to opposition. It will encourage discussion on and present information over an array of issues from the environment to the economy, from research to resourcing, and from building much needed infrastructure to building synergistic alliances.
A wise man once said, “Without knowledge people will perish but that in many minds is much understanding”. For that reason this site will bring together in a single location a collection of countless years of experience and insight garnered from a vast array of backgrounds. It is designed in a manner that will offer unprecedented ease of access to information of immeasurable value to anyone willing build upon its foundations. In a word then, Synergy Station was created to serve the Western Energy Corridor as an information resource platform fashioned from the paradigm that tomorrow is now!
Synergy Station is designed to be an evolving community of relevant, timely, frequent content on a variety of topics. So, whether you are seeking to solve a problem, overcome an obstacle, address a challenge, or effectively accomplish the task at hand we hope this website will prove beneficial. Suggestions for continual improvement and content are always welcome. If you believe you can help or know of someone who can, contact us to become a regular contributor (blogger) or add comments and content to those blogs in process.
As we launch this website of collective blogs it may seem a little bare boned. It is designed to evolve over time and will only become a dynamic model for influence, impact and change if you participate in the conversation.
We are dedicated to coordinating ideas and resources among all that are involved in the Bakken Formation. We provide a platform where community leaders, government planners, and company representatives can discuss needs and solutions.
Cooperation produces a higher quality of life among residents of North Dakota and Montana and higher profitability for companies working in the area.