Monday, October 21, 2013

Flaring Of Gas In North Dakota Jumps From 3% To 30%, Triggering Class Action Lawsuits From Lease/Landowners

As the natural gas industry flared 30% in July of the natural gas produced in North Dakota, the mineral owners whose gas is being burnt have had enough. Ten class action lawsuits have been filed by lease and landowners who are tired of watching their royalty payments go up in smoke through a flare.

Flaring in North Dakota has jumped from 3% in 1999 to 30% in July, 2013, even as the volume of gas skyrocketed over that period. The amount of gas being flared in North Dakota is worth an incredible $100 million per month or $1.2 billion per year.

Flaring is essentially out of control in North Dakota, and it remains one the major impacts for local communities in the Marcellus region.  Flaring releases various emissions, including carbon dioxide, and causes substantial noise and light pollution too. Regulations must be tightened to require the use of the best flaring technology and, most importantly, to restrict flaring so that it takes place only when safety compels its use at a gas well.

To date, nothing has decreased the massive, irresponsible flaring in North Dakota. Perhaps, the legal action of lease/landowners may do the job at which regulators have failed. These cases bear watching.

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