UND’s Energy and Environmental Research center will be studying how the chemical composition of natural gas liquids from the Bakken and Three Forks formations could change over the life of a well.
The study was requested by North Dakota Pipeline Authority Executive Director Justin Kringstad. It was approved by the state's Industrial Commission.
"We have very good data on the upfront portion of a well, trying to understand what the chemistry break-down is -- ethane, propane, butane and other natural gas liquids," Kringstad said. "What we don't have an understanding of is how that may change over the life of a well."
Kringstad said the amount of liquids produced as a well matures will have a definite impact on such things as plant design, petrochecmical opportunities and gathering system design.
"And it's also for the royalty owners -- what can they expect from that resource coming up from their wells," Kringstad said.
Kringstad said the natural gas from those two formations is high in natural gas liquids, compared to other states' gas.
"We have specialized plants and facilities for that in North Dakota," Kringstad said. "So if we see some kind of change, we may look at different designs for plants and gathering lines, and other facilities."
The study is to be completed by May first.