The ND House gave final approval to a bill today that expands the authority of the North Dakota Industrial Commission and the Department of Mineral Resources over various wellhead equipment located on oil and gas well sites.
SB 2058, approved on an 82-3 vote, is intended to address changing technology and unforeseen types of equipment that are now being found on oil and gas producing sites such as data centers using flare gas in bitcoin mining operations. The bill would provide DMR's 42 field inspectors flexibility in cooperating with landowners and operators, which could include farmers and ranchers temporarily leaving ag-related equipment at a well site.
Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, spoke to both the House and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees surrounding the need to assign jurisdiction to address this issue, which is unique to North Dakota's wells.
Click here to listen to Helms’ comments.
Stanley Senator Jordan Kannianen summarized the benefits offered by the new technology and equipment now found throughout the state's oil fields in his remarks on the Senate floor.
Click here to listen to Kannianen’s comments.
An amendment to the bill was proposed to preserve primacy granted to the Department of Environmental Quality, stating that nothing in the bill may be interpreted to modify or supersede requirements related to the federal Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act.
Dave Glatt, Director of the DEQ, spoke to the necessity of the department’s proposed amendment.
Click here to listen to Glatt’s comments.
The bill will allow DMR to prohibit operators from using temporarily abandoned well pads as storage sites by allowing DMR to require operators to remove junk equipment.
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