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PRB Operator Gains Natural Gas Flaring Exemption in Wyoming

A unit of Texas-based Titan Energy LLC has been given the OK to flare up to 4 MMcf/d of natural gas over a three-month period from two wells in a new drilling area of Wyoming's Powder River Basin (PRB).

Titan Exploration, which received the green light from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC), told commissioners it may not have to use the exemption if delays can be avoided in building takeaway gathering pipeline infrastructure.

Gas volumes are expected to peak in the first month of production in part of the Niobrara formation and then fall off, the company said.

Wyoming Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson told NGI’s Shale Daily that the approval was "fairly standard," noting the wells involved are in a new area of the PRB.

"Titan needs to flow the wells for two to three months to determine gas flow rates before signing a gas contract and sizing the gathering pipeline," Watson said.

The WOGCC members expressed reservations about flaring, but noted that the state has been successful in keeping its use to a minimum. Wyoming currently flares less than 1% of its total gas production, Watson said.

“A few" other companies have requested similar flaring exemptions for wells that are even further away from gathering lines. Wyoming allows gas flaring of up to 60 Mcf/d from oil wells, and operators need an exemption to exceed those volume.

WOGCC three years ago approved revisions to the wellhead gas flaring rules.

Titan Energy, which has operations in 12 states, is 83% weighted to natural gas, 12% to oil and 5% to natural gas liquids. It has interests in more than 5,000 wells, 80% operated. Assets are in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, New Albany and Utica shales, Marble Falls formation in Texas, Raton and Black Warrior basins, Mississippian Lime and Hunton formation.

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