March Oil and Gas Numbers are Record Breaking - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

March Oil and Gas Numbers are Record Breaking

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 North Dakota's oil and gas industry is back to setting records for production, but that isn't too surprising, given the poor figures of the last few months

The industry produced over 977,000 barrels of oil per day, which is a preliminary all time high, along with 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Despite the shutdown of the Hess Natural Gas plant near Tioga, the flaring of natural gas fell from 36% to 33. The Department of Mineral Resources has been working with the Industrial Commission on rules meant to reduce flaring, which could go before the commission by the end of June.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see April just squeak past it. And then, we just really take off after that. But it all depends on the weather. And so, again, based on our recent history and kind of looking at the weather and the fact that we've had a winter that just doesn't want to go away. I'm leaning towards the sneak past it in April," says Lynn Helms, Department of Mineral Resources.

Beginning June 1st, companies will need to submit a gas capture plan when applying for a drilling permit. The plan  would outlines how a company can capture the gas instead of flaring it. An industry task force presented the outline of what a gas capture plan would need, and set a target to capture 76 percent of the natural gas by the end of this year.

Despite poor weather Helms says he is looking to the next month's director's cut to hit the million barrels produced per day mark.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see April just squeak past it, and then we just really take off after that. But it all depends on the weather. Again based on our recent history and kind of looking at the weather, I'm leaning towards the sneak past it in April."

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