NDPC Reconvenes Task Force To Increase Natural Gas Capture

Bismarck, N.D. – The North Dakota Petroleum Council reconvened a task force to explore means of pursuing higher natural gas capture and spurring additional infrastructure development. The Natural Gas Capture and Infrastructure Development Task Force (NGCID) met last week to establish goals and will begin collecting and analyzing data to find common challenges that can be addressed through industry-wide coordinated efforts.

“Our task force model has been successful in the past and helped industry continually meet or exceed its gas capture goals,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “The multi-year industry downturn and changes over the past two years, however, have created new challenges that need to be addressed.”

Among the largest challenges has been the industry downturn. Although natural gas production has increased over the past two years, the depressed market inhibited investment in gas processing and transmission assets. Industry has announced more than 800 million cubic feet per day of new or expanded processing capacity that will help accommodate production, but other challenges exist that will require a collaborative approach.

The Task Force has established six subcommittees that will closely examine key challenges, including additional infrastructure buildout, right-of-way and tribal regulatory challenges, H2S contamination, remote capture technologies, new operator engagement, and reworking of the gas capture plan requirements to better meet the needs of a changing and technologically advancing oilfield.

The Task Force, which consists of more than 60 people representing all of North Dakota’s major producers and midstream companies, will meet monthly, plans to report back to the North Dakota Industrial Commission regularly, and will develop recommendations on how to increase capture by the middle of May.

“In just four years since this Task Force was first formed and came out with its initial findings and recommendations, so much has changed,” said Ness. “It became clear we needed to revisit this issue in a rapidly changing environment and pursue new innovations and new ideas to ensure we’re continuing to meet our goals and capture more natural gas for the benefit of mineral owners, value-added markets and the state as a whole.”