Natural gas flaring still nearly 30 percent

Jun 17, 2013

Nearly 30 percent of natural gas produced in the Bakken is flared.

And state officials continue to work to reduce that flared amount.

Natural gas is a byproduct of oil development in the Bakken. State mineral resources director Lynn Helms says newer wells are being connected to gas gathering systems, so that gas isn’t being flared. However, he says some wells that have been connected to gas gathering systems for some time are now flaring more of their natural gas.

"It means that the big compressor stations and the pipeline expansions are behind," said Helms. "But we're getting that problem solved.

"The Bakken and Three Forks continue to surprise people, in terms of productivity," said Helms. "Gathering systems that were built a few years ago, they're finding out, are too small. Compression will have to be added, pipes will need to be expanded."

Helms says the state continues to work to bring the amount of gas flared to below 10 percent.