In the state’s monthly oil production report, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms stated that while production numbers rose in September, the number of well completions decreased from 272 in August to 176. The cause of this slow in additional wells is largely attributed to the mandate on flaring reduction passed in North Dakota earlier this summer.
Forum News Service reported yesterday that several operators have postponed well completion in order to increase their gas capture rates. The mandate has been successful and flaring in North Dakota has already dropped to 24 percent from 30 percent earlier this year. The North Dakota Industrial Commission hopes that the state can reduce their flare rate to 23 percent by Jan. 1 of 2015 and to 5 percent by 2020.
Flaring has been an ongoing issue in the state since the release of space satellite photos depicting the Bakken region creating more light due to natural gas flaring than the city lights of Chicago. Helms stated that although the state is on track to meet their flaring goals, it will still be a challenge to meet the January deadline.
Additionally, Helms stated that the biggest reason for the drop in rig count felt by the state is falling oil prices. Oil prices for Bakken crude have dropped to $58.75 per barrel.