Natural gas producers just barely making the cut for capture in ND

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North Dakota may have a gas issue. Production of natural gas set a record in November, but producers are just barely making the cut when it comes to gas capture.

The state produced almost 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas, but conflicts with the federal government may cause North Dakota to miss their goals.

Natural gas was a hidden jewl form the oil boom. But issues with flaring may cause big problems for oil producers.

The state wide requirement for gas capture is 85 percent. Overall the state is 86 percent, but certain sectors aren't making the cut.

"The bad is Fort Berthold is really lagging at 75 percent, and trust lands on Fort Berthold there only capturing 72 percent," said Department of Mineral Resource Director Lynn Helms.

The problem is the state doesn't have the power to regulate what goes on in the boundaries of the reservation.

"We have got to get Secretary Zinke's attention on how can we get gas capture on Indian lands improved because it's really under their control," said Helms.

Oil production was up in the state at nearly 1.2 million barrels a day. That can be attributed to a much higher price of oil then we've seen in more than two years.

"It would not surprise me that oil stalls out here just under the $65 mark just because we're going to see rig counts continue to increase under the new profitability we're seeing in the Bakken and last week we saw rig counts jump another 10,” said Eugene Graner, Heartland Investors.

But with OPEC announcing this week to extend production cuts through the end of the year, no major price crash is expected.

Helms expects oil production to steadily increase through the first half of the year and even said he thinks we'll break the barrels per day record of close to 1.3 million set in December 2014.