U.S. Working to Cut Flaring of Natural Gas


By Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) — The U.S. government will roll out new standards in the coming months to cut the amount of shale natural gas wasted through flaring, the interior secretary said.

Much of the natural gas associated with shale oil deposits is burned off, or flared, because of a lack of infrastructure needed to utilize the resource.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think-tank, that her agency would propose “in the coming months” standards meant to cut emissions and reduce the amount of gas wasted during flaring.

“We will be updating our decades-old standards to encourage the kind of infrastructure and technology that companies I’ve met with in the Bakken and Permian basins [in North Dakota and Texas, respectively] have demonstrated can reduce harmful emissions and capture the natural gas as a source of energy and revenue for the American people,” she said.

While the Interior Department will do its part, the secretary said part of the onus lies with industry and state leaders.

North Dakota state leaders are among those advocating for a reduction in natural gas flaring. In May, startup company North Dakota LNG announced plans to build a gas processing plant in Tioga, the first of its kind for the state, to reduce flaring.

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