Hess Infrastructure Improvements Boost Production, Reduce Gas Flaring

After making a $1.5 billion infrastructure investment in North Dakota made by Hess Corp. between 2012 and 2014, the company more than doubled the operational capacity of its Tioga Gas Plant in North Dakota, while also reducing its natural gas flaring by a substantial amount, the company said in a recent release.

The expansion of the plant enabled the company to significantly increase its production of propane, methane, butane and natural gasoline, as well as ethane, which was not previously produced in the state. The operational improvements to efficiency and production showed that Hess is committed to North Dakota, John Hess, company chief executive officer, said in a press release.

“The Tioga Gas Plant was built in 1954, just three years after we drilled the very first oil well in the state of North Dakota. Today, as one of the largest oil and gas producers in the Bakken, we are committed to responsible long-term growth in North Dakota and proud to contribute to the state’s infrastructure,” Hess added.

The plant is processing about 120 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMcf/d), with the potential to handle more than 300 MMcf/d, compared with the previous processing figure of 100 MMcf/d figure prior to the expansion.

In addition to the expansion of the Tioga Plant, Hess used some of the investment on four new gathering projects which are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

The reduction in natural gas flaring will help Hess meet new regulations on natural gas flaring. North Dakota Industrial Commission – the state’s oil and gas regulatory entity – recently changed its regulations on flaring. As of June 1, energy companies in the process of filing for permits are required to submit a plan to capture any natural gas that could be released by the new well, Reuters said. In addition, new rules are said to be coming July 1.

Previously, the Commission allowed flaring at a well for up to one year, and extensions to the permits were given if the producer showed that the well could not feasibly be hooked up to the necessary infrastructure, according to the Energy Policy Research Foundation.


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