By Rob Port | North Dakota Watchdog
FLARED vs. CAPTURED: The pace of natural gas capture has outpaced flaring in North Dakota
North Dakota continues to set daily production records for natural gas and oil.
The “director’s cut” report, released by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources on Tuesday, shows the state produced 973,045 barrels per day of oil and more than 1.086 million mcf of natural gas per day in November. That’s up from 945,182 barrels per day of oil and 1.072 million mcf of natural gas in October.
December marked the 13th consecutive month in which both oil and gas production set daily production records, according to reports posted on the DMR’s website, The state also set a record for producing oil wells with 10,023, up from 9,923 in November.
These record-breaking numbers have been heralded by political and industry leaders in the past, but of late the rapid growth in production has become the subject of controversy. An explosive derailment near Casselton, N.D., has sparked debate over strained energy infrastructure. It was the latest in a series of headline-grabbing derailments of oil trains. In the incident, 18 rail cars explodeed and 400,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil were spilled, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board
North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Robert Harms said in an interview after the derailment that oil and gas production should be slowed down with increased regulation.
Flaring, or the burning off of excess natural gas, has also been the subject of controversy, and December saw a slight increase in those numbers as well. After declines in the percentage of natural gas flared in August, September and October the state saw a slight increase — to 32.84 percent in November.
The DMR report attributes this increase to the shutdown of a natural gas plant near Tioga for expansion.
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