North Dakota is this year better equipped to capture vented and flared natural gas from the Bakken Shale than in 2019, and processing capacity is said to now be adequate for the next five years.

north dakpta gas

North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad discussed the outlook during an interview with NGI’s Shale Daily

“The gas capture landscape has improved dramatically from 2019,” he said. “North Dakota’s gas production exceeded gas processing capacity for much of 2019, but during the second half of that year, the gas processing industry added 700 MMcf/d of new processing capacity to the region.”  

Overall processing capacity in the Bakken should remain stable through 2025, Kringstad said. 

“When factoring in additional planned processing capacity expected to come online in 2021-2022, I forecast plant capacity to be adequate until the 2024-2025 timeframe.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that North Dakota and Texas led the nation last year in gas venting and flaring. Bakken gas production last year rose to 290 MMcf/d from 200 MMcf/d in 2010, according to federal statistics.

“We have prior history to tell us that gas plant capacity needs in North Dakota cannot be viewed in a 1:1 ratio between field production and plant capacity,” Kringstad said. “Today’s current gas processing capacity in North Dakota is expected to be adequate for one to three years before additional capacity would be required.” 

Long-term projections of takeaway capacity are also enough to keep up with Bakken oil production, which is forecast to reach 1.7-1.8 million b/d by the late 2020s.