New Interior Secretary urges changes in first visit to ND oilfield

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During her first visit to the Bakken oilfield in North Dakota since being appointed secretary of the interior, Sally Jewell said Tuesday that more work needs to be done to reduce natural gas flaring, according to Forum Communications. A recent report estimated that $3.6 million in natural gas is burned away each day in North Dakota.

“Flaring it and venting it is obviously not capturing resources that could be leading us to energy independence,” Jewell said.

Top executives of two oil companies gave Jewell a tour of their operations and showed her their efforts to reduce flaring, including a pilot project to test a compressed natural gas liquids unit. About 29 percent of North Dakota's natural gas is flared, but Jewell was shown advances at Continental Resources, which flares 10 percent of its natural gas and captures 90 percent. She also toured a pilot project to test a compressed natural gas liquids unit.

As interior secretary, Jewell plays a key role in energy development on public and tribal lands. She has worked as a petroleum engineer.

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