ND DMR Press Release
WILLISTON- Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, today updated County Commissioners, auditors and other state and local officials on his oil activity forecast during his annual address to the North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties (NDAOGPC).
“Visiting with the NDAOGPC is one of the most important talks I give every year,” explains Helms. “It has always been my priority to inform the communities of western North Dakota about the anticipated activity from the oil and gas industry and to get the feedback of local officials on oil and gas impacts.”
Helms’ talk also briefed attendees on the efforts of the Oil and Gas Division to address concerns regarding waste management and minimization, reclamation, flaring reduction, and pipeline regulations.
“We’re taking a very proactive role in encouraging companies to consider beneficial uses for their waste products by recycling water, or using drill cuttings for road aggregate. This can all be useful for county leaders,” Helms said. “In the past year, we’ve implemented steps to reduce the occurrence of flaring, and the illegal dumping of water and filter socks.”
He added that the division is gearing up for the Oct. 1 flaring deadline when companies will be required to capture 74 percent of the natural gas they produce.
Helms also included a county by county outlook for the number of drilling rigs, producing wells and industry related jobs each county can expect over the next two-years, as well as how that’s changed from the previous two years. Helms says he hopes these leaders can use this information as they prepare for upcoming budgets, construction seasons and the Legislative session.
Projections show continued strong growth in the four core oil and gas producing counties of Mountrail, McKenzie, Williams and Dunn. Non-Bakken producing counties like Bottineau and Bowman can also expect a continued slow growth of about one to five rigs during the next two years.
This is the fifteenth year Helms has addressed the annual meeting of the NDAOGPC.