Williston, ND (KEYZ) North Dakota natural gas production hit another record in March even as oil production dropped, illustrating the need for more gas infrastructure. State Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad says gas production is expected to exceed processing capacity beginning this summer until projects under construction start to come online.
“Currently, natural gas production is at about 2.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, and my estimate is that in the near future that figure will at least double if not go higher. So, the necessary processing plants, gas gathering, pipeline systems, transmission pipeline systems, all of that infrastructure is going to be necessary to continue to meet this growing level of production,” Kringstad tells News Radio.
While the volume of natural gas harvested rises, the amount of wasteful flaring is also reduced. Kringstad puts that level at about 12 percent. Kringstad says the slight decline in oil production in March is normal for that time of year. “It’s somewhat to be expected given the winter time conditions, we experienced in March. We know that where the activity continues to be focused is very rich in natural gas production and so the activity that was still taking place in March was skewed to higher levels of natural gas than was oil,” says Kringstad.
The Public Service Commission granted approval Tuesday for Oneok to proceed with the Demicks Lake natural gas processing plant in McKenzie County. It’s one of five such plants under development in North Dakota. It’s expected to be complete late next year.