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Oil production in the Bakken continues increasing. In September, the Bakken reached an all time high of 728,000 barrels flowing a day. But there are some transportation challenges standing in the way of processing all the oil and natural gas.

Rail terminals, pipelines and gas processing plants are all under construction, but it`s still not enough to handle the continued increases in oil and natural gas. One of the biggest hurdles the Department of Mineral Resources is having is trying to reduce natural gas flaring. The state currently allows flaring up to one year, with continued decreases in the amount of gas flared throughout that year.

"As soon as that option is available they`re getting connected because there`s a lot of value in the natural gas and the natural gas liquids," said Justin Kringstad with the ND Pipeline Authority.

But they`ve had to make exceptions because securing land easements for pipeline is getting more difficult. So the petroleum council is trying to find solutions to build more infrastructure, while also reducing flaring.

"Try to get these utilities into corridors or have a multiple use corridor where you can put four pipelines and a power line in the same easement," said Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

In addition to trying to find solutions to flaring, companies are also testing ways to recycle frac water and reuse it. Helms says two companies have already created a new frac gel formula that allows them to use fresh water and processed water to frac a well.

"This is a huge leap forward. Up to this point we have only recycled 20 percent of the frac flow back water. This is going to move us next year to where we should typically be recycling 50 percent of the frac flow back water."

These tests were successful and Helms says the goal is to recycle 75-80 percent of water.

Helms expects oil production to continue increasing by three to five percent per month, with more drilling permits and larger spacing units.
Source: KFYR TV News Stories

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