Help is expected for North Dakota’s oil and gas producers, which continue to combat increases in flared gas as output increases in the Bakken Shale.

Some relief could be evident as early as the next monthly production report, according to North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad. Significant processing and liquids pipeline takeaway capacity has been added since August and more than 600 MMcf/d of processing capacity is due to enter service by early 2020, he said.

"Beginning with the August production reports, gas capture volumes are expected to improve with the new facilities online," Kringstad told NGI's Shale Daily. The August reports are due in October.

Last month, 320 MMcf/d of processing capacity started operations including a 200 MMcf/d gas processing plant near Watford City jointly owned by Hess Midstream Partners LP and Targa Resources Partners. The 120 MMcf/d Bear Den II processing plant, also in Watford City, came online too.

Hess affiliates plan to invest $100 million for pipeline infrastructure to gather gas for Little Missouri Four processing plant, while Crestwood Equity Partners LP has expanded 36 miles of 20-inch diameter, high-pressure lines that connect the Bear Den processing complex to the Arrow Pipeline LLC gathering system.

Arrow’s daily gathering volumes in August exceeded 124 million b/d of crude, 96 MMcf/d of natural gas and 84 million b/d of produced water, according to Crestwood. Crestwood now expects Arrow producers to connect 110 wells in 2019. The latest Bakken production figures show record levels for crude and gas.

Still to come are two more processing plants and a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline that Kringstad said should further help capture more gas.

Oneok Inc.’s 240,000 b/d Elk Creek NGL pipeline and 200 MMcf/d Demicks Lake II processing plant in McKenzie County are expected to begin commercial operations in 2020. Kinder Morgan Inc.’s 150 MMcf/d Roosevelt plant expansion, also in McKenzie County, is set to start operations in November.