Department Discusses Flaring Regulations - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Department Discusses Flaring Regulations

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Citizens, mineral owners, oil companies and natural gas processing companies all presented their thoughts on new rules aimed to reduce flaring to state regulators today.

It was all about communication today, as the Department of Mineral Resources met with various groups to discuss their thoughts on regulations that will reduce natural gas flaring.

An anti-flaring task force made up of various oil companies and experts presented rules to the Industrial Commission in December. The rules would require companies to submit a gas capture plan to the Department of Mineral Resources when applying for a permit, and would impose consequences if a company does not comply. But the oil industry representatives say that companies face a great deal of challenges, from getting right of ways, to the funds needed to build a gas gathering systems.

"What it's causing is having the midstream companies the companies that go and gather the gas and then process it and transport it out of the state. And the operators in getting those two industries working together to ensure that we have the capacity available to move the gas out of state and not have to flare it," says Lance Langford of Statoil.

Oil and gas companies, like Statoil, say gas capture plans need time to be put in place, and that heavy penalties like curtailing production should be used as a last resort for companies who continue to flare. Oil industry officials have pledged to capture 85 percent of the gas by 2016, and 90 percent within six years as the rules go in to affect and the infrastructure for gas capturing systems can catch up.

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