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N. Dakota Senate snuffs natural gas flaring bill

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate has snuffed out a measure aimed at curbing the oil industry's practice of wasting natural gas at oil wells.

The Senate voted 34-13 to kill the bill Wednesday.

Oil companies in North Dakota can burn off or flare natural gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties on it. Companies can then ask state regulators for an extension because of the high costs of moving the gas to market.

More than 30 percent of the state's gas production is being flared because development of the pipelines and processing facilities needed to handle it has not kept pace with production.

Sen. Tim Mathern introduced the measure and says capturing and using natural gas is common sense. He says the state has largely ignored the problem.