The oil industry is taking action to solve one of the largest concerns in North Dakota's oil and gas development...flaring.
Operators know if they don't do something, government will.
Frustrations over the wasting of natural gas at well sites across western North Dakota has peaked.
Which has led to a group of oil companies joining together to tackle the problem.
Today they met with the Industrial Commission for the first time...
Donnell Preskey has the story.
North Dakota's Governor and Attorney General are putting pressure on oil companies benefiting from one of North Dakota's greatest resources...
They say North Dakotan's want less flaring at well sites.
The Governor and Attorney General want a plan...
Oil and Gas companies are responding. A Flaring Task Force made up of 35 members representing more than 500 companies in the state will identify solutions to reduce flaring.
Lance Langford with Statoil says, "we have to figure out how to optimize gas in the pipeline. We've got to find alternatives to use gas can't get in pipeline."
30% of the state's natural gas is being flared. Industry says they are stuck. Oil and gas production outpaces the ability to build infrastructure needed to keep up or get ahead.
"This much success in a small area, always creates challenges."
Lance Langford with Statoil says his company and others are currently looking at projects that would reduce the amount of gas being burned off.
Langford explains one alternative. "A Mobile CNG operation we take flared gas and take it to a rig site and use it instead of diesel."
Something that's unusual about this task force is that it brings competitors to the same table...
Together they brain storm and share ideas about a problem that effects all of them...
Typically we wouldn't go to competitor and say can you share your best management practices. That's where the Petroleum Council has done a really good job," says Eric Dille with EOG Resources.
The group has met 12 times since September and they will continue to meet... They plan to present a final report with their recommendations to the Industrial Commission in January.
Here are some interesting facts revealed at the Industrial Commission meeting.
There is currently 9,500 miles of gas gathering pipe in North Dakota that's enough to go from Bismarck to Beijing.
The amount of natural gas processed each day can heat 10,000 homes for a year.
It may have been in the 40s this morning, but that did not stop kids from lining up at the local water park this afternoon.
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