New Conditioning Regulations for Bakken Oil
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Ben Smith has the story.
After months of discussion, The North Dakota Industrial Commission gave the go ahead to rules they say will make Bakken crude oil safer to transport.
“This will ensure that all of our Bakken/Three Forks crude oil has the same type of vapor pressure characteristics as the unleaded gasoline that you live with and work with every day.” says Department of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms
Lynn Helms with the Department of Mineral Resources says the new standards require all Bakken and Three Forks crude to be tested and properly conditioned before it enters any gathering pipeline or oil field trucks.
“On at least a minority of facilities, we are going to significantly change the characteristics of crude that’s going into market.”
These changes come at a cost.
Lynn says oil companies will have a harder time meeting gas capture goals.
And the Petroleum Council say it could cost millions of dollars in new equipment and more infrastructure.
But another group says this rule is a step in the right direction.
“The question is going to be the enforcement of it and making sure that everybody complies with it.” says Jim Unkenholz with the Dakota Resource Council.
Jim Unkenholz with the Dakota Resource Council says this should have been the standard years ago.
“They had to be able to for see some of these problems coming up and it’s not that this is the first place oil has been drilled, it’s not the first place there’s been gas to flare.”
Despite a difference in opinion, all sides agree on one thing…
That change is coming for the way oil is produced in North Dakota.
Helms says the Department of Mineral Resources plans to bring on 22 new positions to help enforce the new regulations.