ND gas capture goal to increase, Trump rolls back federal regulations on methane

By John Salling | 

North Dakota set an all time high for natural gas production in May at 2.3 million MCF per day. President Donald Trump rolled back federal regulations for capturing methane originally put in place in 2016.

Methane is one part of natural gas. It’s a greenhouse gas and can also be flared.

“Companies are wanting to capture this methane, it is a commodity. It’s not something that anybody wants to see wasted,” said Kari Cutting, North Dakota Petroleum Council vice president.

The Dakota Resource Council says removing regulations will open up more opportunities for this gas to leak out or be flared.

DRC spokesperson Lisa DeVille says in part, “It is our people who breathe in the toxins that can be prevented from spilling into our atmosphere. It is also our children, my grandchildren, that are breathing it in. We will continue to fight this roll back.”

The Petroleum Council does not expect this change to effect North Dakota state regulations.

“North Dakota has some of the most stringent regulations on venting and flaring in the country. In fact, the BLM had said that they used the North Dakota regulations as a model for this rule. So really it was very duplicative, and for North Dakota not necessary,” said Cutting.

North Dakota has a state gas capture goal of 85 percent. At the start of November, that goal ratchets up to 88 percent capture.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Annual Meeting is taking place in Fargo Sept. 24-26. Its website says topics will range from North American and world energy supply and demand.


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