Companies requesting ‘venting’ to ‘flaring’ to avoid wildfires

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Every part of North Dakota is affected by the drought in some way, and the oil & gas industry is no exception. Especially when burn bans conflict with flaring requirements.

Oil processing leads to many different byproducts, some of which are unusable or uncollectable.

So companies will burn off the unused gas, otherwise known as “flaring”. But the heavy winds and extreme drought led to some companies asking if they could vent the gasses into the air rather than burning it off. But industry leaders said they’d have to shut off the systems to do that.

“You just need to police your flare properly. But no, we’re not going to give relief to allow people to just vent their methane or their natural gas to not safely flare it,” DMR Director Lynn Helms said.

There have also been concerns over having enough water for hydraulic fracturing, but companies are working on ways to recycle produced water to rely less on fresh water.

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