No Good In North Dakota

Flaring Prairies of North Dakota

No Good In North Dakota


Motivated by a subscriber question, Enersection dug further into Department of Interior ("DOI") datasetsSpecifically DOI Production Disposition by Month data was queried to evaluate flared gas numbers, which is measured and often receives royalties on Federal leases"This dataset contains monthly information on the disposition of production for each product (oil and gas) produced. The product could have been directly removed/sold, directly used (injected), moved off the lease, transferred to a different facility, flared, spilled and/or lost, lost through evaporation/shrinkage, etc."Flared & vented gas rates vary wildly across the U.S. on Federal leasesThe numbers have us questioning the dataOver 30% of natural gas produced on Federal leases in McKenzie County, ND is being flared as of December 2022

Naughty ND

DOI production disposition data includes natural resource production for U.S. federal minerals for both onshore and offshore areas and Native American minerals.  Enersection analyzed flared & vented gas compared to natural gas sold.  After peaking at over 5%, flared & vented gas represents roughly 1.8% of total natural gas produced on U.S. Federal leases as of December 2022.

Flared & Vented Gas as % Total Natural Gas

Total U.S. Federal Leases

Flaring in Lea County, NM has trended lower at 1% of total gas produced currently.

Flared & Vented Gas as % Total Natural Gas

Federal Leases in Lea County, NM

The North Dakota data has us perplexed and seeking additional confirmation.  Over 30% of all gas produced in McKenzie County, ND on Federal leases was flared or vented last year, with flared & vented rates generally over 50% the last decade.

Flared & Vented Gas as % Total Natural Gas

Federal Leases in McKenzie County, ND

Incredibly, 15-25% of all flared & vented gas on U.S. Federal leases has occurred in McKenzie County in recent years.

McKenzie County, ND as % of Total U.S. Flared Gas

On U.S. Federal Leases

We are left with more questions than answers and are surprised by the high flaring rates on Federal leases in North Dakota.

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