Hoeven: Create Environment to Attract Investment in Natural Gas Technology and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee worked to find ways to attract investment in new technologies and infrastructure for capturing and transporting natural gas from oil and gas wells and to reduce flaring. Hoeven questioned experts representing government, industry and academics on the future of the U.S. natural gas industry and pressed them to find new and innovative ways to decrease flaring. 

“North Dakota has an abundance of natural gas from our oil development and we need to find cost-effective ways to capture this resource and get it to market,” said Hoeven. “We need a legal, tax and regulatory environment that encourages the industry to capture more of this gas, build the gathering systems and the interstate pipelines, and get it to market.”   

Hoeven pressed Chris Smith, deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, and Jeff Wright, director of the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to discuss ways their agencies are encouraging natural gas infrastructure and technologies, and to work with the natural gas industry to overcome any regulatory impediments and issue timely permits for natural gas projects.  

Hoeven also asked the experts for their proposals and ideas to reduce flaring.  Kenneth Medlock, a Fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University recommended attracting investments in gathering infrastructure to connect individual wells to a processing facility. Smith indicated he will provide Hoeven with the Department of Energy’s recommendations for encouraging industry to capture and market natural gas.   

According to the most recent U.S. Geological Survey estimates, there are 1.85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the Bakken formation.