ND Industrial Commission Unanimously Approves New Flaring Reduct - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Industrial Commission Unanimously Approves New Flaring Reduction Enforcement Policy

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TRANSCRIPT

A policy is set to reduce flaring.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission unanimously approves a new flaring reduction enforcement policy.

Companies may now face oil production restrictions if they do not meet natural gas collection standards at well sites in the Bakken/Three Forks region.

About 30 percent of gas flaring at well sites in North Dakota is not captured.

But, the state's Industrial Commission has approved a new resolution to further reduce emissions.

"The long-term goal is to reduce the volume of gas flared and the number of wells flaring and the short-term goal is to have those numbers stop going up," says North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms."

The goal of the resolution is to collect 74 percent of gas flaring emissions in the Bakken and Three Forks region by October 1st, 77 percent by January 1st and eventually up to 95 percent by 2020.

And oil companies will face new regulations.

"Former rules-- once you were connected to a pipe you were exempt from any flaring restrictions, but that no longer is the case," says North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms."

Companies that do not meet the standards will face oil production restrictions.

If operators do not collect at least 60 percent of their natural gas they will be restricted to producing 200 barrels a day.

Any less than that and they will be restricted to 100 barrels a day.

And, wells have a 90 day grace period to produce at a maximum rate without facing a penalty.

Helms says production restrictions have a "two-fold purpose."

"The obvious one is to reduce the volume of gas flared or the duration of the flaring. But they also provide an extremely strong financial incentive," says North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms."

Collection data for the first capturing target will be evaluated in December.

The North Dakota Department of Health may also restrict production if it determines flaring violates Air Pollution Control Rules.

A representative from the Oil and Gas Division says the department will be asking the state legislature for funding for additional enforcement employees.

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