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North Dakota Flaring Continues Unabated

EIA says compressed natural gas is a partial solution


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Despite the state’s efforts to limit flaring, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources has reported that production of “nonmarketed” natural gas was 310 MMcfd (8.8 x 106 m3/d) in 2013, almost double the 160 MMcfd (4.5 x 106 m3/d) in 2011. Most nonmarketed natural gas is flared into the atmosphere.

In a report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) explained that associated gas from of the Bakken Shale oil boom has outpaced additions to the state’s gas pipeline capacity and processing facilities. It said North Dakota accounts for 22% of all natural gas that is either flared or vented in the U.S.

EIA said several new pipelines and gas processing plants are in various stages of development. It also said the application of General Electric’s “CNG in a Box” product may have an impact.

“This system uses a compact compression-and-cooling station to convert natural gas into compressed natural gas (CNG), which can serve as fuel for vehicles and equipment. GE is using this system in North Dakota together with Statoil, which transports the CNG on tube trailers to fuel its drilling equipment that is capable of using either diesel fuel or natural gas.”

North Dakota plans to reduce its percentage of nonmarketed gas steadily until it reaches a goal of 10% by the fourth quarter of 2020 as processing plant and pipeline capacity expansions continue, according to a Jan. 29 report from the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

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