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Bill would give tax relief for 'enhanced oil recovery'

A measure pending in the North Dakota Legislature would provide a tax incentive for oil companies to use enhanced oil recovery techniques.

But the bill’s sponsor says as written, it’s probably too expensive for the Legislature to pass.

Rep. Craig Headland’s (R-Montpelier) bill would exempt so called “re-stimulation wells” from the oil extraction tax – lowering the tax on that recovered oil to five percent.

"We do need to look at every possibility, anything we can do, to encourage capital investment into our oilfields, to keep our production up," Headland said. "We'll just see what we can do to encourage them to re-stimulate these oil wells."

Headland said he doesn't know if the technology is there yet to do it on a Bakken well.

"On your standard , vertical wells, we can do it already," Headland said. "In Bowman County, Danbury is already doing it."

Headland said everything the Legislature is looking at is designed to encourage oil production to remain at levels that are good for North Dakota.

The Department of Mineral Resources has said millions of barrels could be recovered through enhanced recovery techniques.

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