The reader took strong issue with the need for this action, and took particular issue with the Director of the NDIC and the self-imposed flaring caps, suggesting that there seems to be a tug-of-war between someone who wants to slow production (for whatever reason) and the governor who wants North Dakota crude oil production to double (which I have said many times, if "unfettered, the Bakken can produce two million bopd").
My response to the reader:
So, time for a poll, in which we ask whether production should have precedence over flaring:Thank you. Agree 100% with the sentiment, but some thoughts.I've flip-flopped on the issue many times. Early on in the boom, I thought the concern of flaring was overdone, but I was wrong -- oil companies, investors, and mineral owners have benefited -- at least as far as I can tell -- with the amount of NG activity we now have in the state.But, whether it's 87% or 88% it seems like we've turned the corner -- and that's why I agree with your note. There seems to be a lot of hysteria over meeting the 88% goal, when outside of the reservation we seem to easily be there.The "thing" that has me wondering now: I always thought it was the remote wells (not economical to hook up to a pipeline) and the reservation. If so, I completely agree: ridiculous to hew to self-imposed caps when much of it is due to self-imposed red tape.But when I look at the graph and the amount of NG production predicted, I think folks are looking out over the next five to ten years. I wonder if Lynn Helms isn't telling Burgum that if we're going to get to 2 million bopd we need to prepare for all that natural gas that will be produced.My hunch is that the "emergency" task force will come up with some great ideas: maybe it will force some changes in the bureaucracies causing all the red tape; perhaps we will see some incentives for more infrastructure investment; and, if necessary, delay the self-imposed "goals."
- yes, production should take precedence over flaring caps
- middle of the road: ease the caps now but long term keep the caps as goals
- no, hold the industry accountable; enforce the caps