Study: NoDak oil patch is 'flaring' $100M of natural gas a month

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Oil drillers in North Dakota's Bakken shale fields are allowing nearly a third of the natural gas they drill to burn off into the air, with a value of more than $100 million per month, according to a study to be released on Monday.

Reuters has what it calls an "exclusive": According to a report from Ceres, a nonprofit group that tracks environmental records of public companies, "flaring" - letting natural gas burn into the air - has tripled in the past three years.

Roughly 29 percent of natural gas extracted in North Dakota was flared in May, down from an all-time high of 36 percent in September 2011, says Reuters.

But the volume of natural gas produced has nearly tripled in that timeframe to about 900,000 million cubic feet per day, boosting flaring in the state to roughly 266,000 million cubic feet per day, according to North Dakota state and Ceres data.

Hey, that's money into thin air! So energy companies are working to build more pipelines and processing facilities to connect many of the state's 9,000 wells - a number expected to hit 50,000 by 2030 - so the gas can be stored immediately instead of burned.

How big is the problem? In February, Resilience.org noted that the flaring could be seen from outer space.

Flaring has become a key issue for environmentalists and businesses alike. Last year, RBN Energy published a primer on flaring, along with this graph showing the volume of burning and the corresponding money lost:

Next Up

Kenta Maeda

Twins pull Maeda early, White Sox pummel bullpen

Jose Abreu's two-run homer gave the White Sox a 9-3 victory.

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Guthrie theater

Guthrie to reopen to the public in July, shows resume this fall

The theater has been closed to the public for more than a year.

Target - good and gather plant based

Target is launching more than 30 new plant-based grocery products

All are part of the company's hit Good & Gather brand.

Roller Garden

Roller Garden to auction off skates, signs, arcade games and more

Many items from the beloved Roller Garden will be up for auction next month.

joseph ness booking photo

Charges: Chanhassen man fired hundreds of rounds, killing his sister

Six rifles, including AR-15 and AK-47 variants, were found inside the home.

police lights

Woman robbed and assaulted at gunpoint in Waite Park, police say

The incident occurred on Sunday at around 11:30 p.m.

pixabay - marijuana cannabis

Marijuana legalization: Minnesota House to vote Thursday

The "historic" vote on the House floor is set for Thursday afternoon.

Related