Oil industry to assemble flaring task force

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In November the state's requirement for natural gas capture will rise from 85 percent to 88. Oil producers say this could become a major issue unless something is done. Advocates for the industry are now reconvening a flaring task force to deal with the issue.

The latest numbers from the Department of Mineral Resources show the gas capture rate is at 87 percent, but issues with flaring on the Fort Berthold Reservation could cause issues for producers.

The oil industry has been expanding for many years and with that are growing pains especially when it comes to flaring.

"We've seen our natural gas production grow along with our oil production and that growth is putting us back in a position where we're challenging on the gas capture side," said North Dakota Petroleum Council CEO Ron Ness.

State wide number are on par, but the Fort Berthold Reservation is not meeting the standards. State officials and Industry spokespeople agree the fault doesn't lie with the Three Affiliated Tribes.

"The tribes process is really not what's inhibiting the right a way process. It's federal and it's BIA,” said Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

"Where they've got a lot of extra folks in Denver doing some extra work but then it's coming into a bottleneck in New Town," said Ness.

Ness says that new infrastructure will help to make a difference when it comes to flaring.

"Four projects almost two billion dollars of new natural gas infrastructure that's been announced really since the first of the year," said Ness.

But Ness says they will need even more as he expects oil and gas production to rise.