EERC Studies Natural Gas Uses | VideoJennifer Joas | 11/5/2012
Natural gas can be used for a variety of things from power to fertilizer. That is why seeing 29 percent of the natural gas flared in the state makes it hard for state leaders to swallow.
"Everyone has the same vision as to how can we capture this resource, get it put in to these pipelines, get it utilized in one of these alternative systems so that natural gas is not just being wasted," said Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Pipeline Authority.
The necessary infrastructure such as pipelines and processing plants is being installed. But there are some places so remote, only mobile processing units can reach.
That is why UND`s Energy and Environmental Research Center started looking into areas where natural gas could be used, such as vehicles, power generation, or converting it into chemicals such as fertilizer. They found the best solution is to use the gas for power.
"The amount of gas we are producing from these well seems to align fairly well with the sorts of grid support type multiple megawatt power production that is reasonable. I think the challenge, if there is one, is just finding the locations where the gas is available as the interconnection is easy and the electrical demand all sort of coexist," said Chad Wocken, EERC Senior Research Manager.
And for all of those uses, they recommend removing the natural gas liquids that are high in butane, propane and ethane because they have a huge value.
The EERC says flaring is expected to decrease as oil operations become more concentrated and make it easier for build infrastructure.