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ND lawmakers mulling tax exemption for natural gas

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state regulator says the amount of natural gas wasted as a byproduct of oil production in North Dakota could be significantly cut by giving energy companies a tax exemption if they utilize the gas.

Oil companies in North Dakota can burn off natural gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties on it.

But legislation being discussed Tuesday by the House Taxation and Finance Committee would extend the exemption for two additional years if a company collects at least 75 percent of the gas at well sites.

Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told the panel that about 30 percent of the state's gas production is being burned off because development of needed pipelines and processing facilities has not kept pace with production.