The latest report monthly on North Dakota’s oil and gas development is out. The state set a new record for oil production in September at 1,184,635 barrels/day, and a new record for gas production at 1,403,448 MCF/day.
But just as importantly, the percentage of gas flared in the state has hit a new low at 24 percent. And not only was the flaring rate down, but the actual volume of gas flared was down 23.3 MMCF per day from August to September.
Here’s the trend line, where you can see the big spike in flaring last winter while the Hess gas processing plant in Tioga was down for upgrades. According to the report, this reduction in flaring happened even without that plant being entirely back online. Apparently, the plant is still only operating at 65 percent efficiency.
The flaring rate for state-regulated lands is actually even lower. Flaring off federal lands (and by that I mean the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation) was just 22.3 percent. Flaring on the Fort Berthold Reservation was much higher at 28.7 percent.
It’s ironic that, as much bashing as left-wing environmentalists aim at North Dakota’s Republican leadership for supposedly being in the pocket of “big oil,” the flaring problem has been and remains the worst on federal lands where the Obama administration is in charge.
As I’ve mentioned before, Rep. Kevin Cramer has introduced legislation to address this issue (among others) by giving tribes more autonomy over oil and gas development on their own lands. Unfortunately, despite President Obama’s promises about backing the independence of the tribes, his administration has opposed the legislation.