North Dakota plans to punish crude producers that fail to cut flaring of natural gas.
Energy companies that don’t curb gas flaring will face limits on the amount of oil they can pump from the Bakken shale formation, the North Dakota Industrial Commission said last week.
In North Dakota, the second-biggest producing state behind Texas, producers routinely burn off gas associated with crude from wells.
The oil producers have said there aren’t enough pipelines or other infrastructure to handle the gas.
Land owners and environmentalists want to limit or end flaring.
The owners say they are losing royalties from the flaring, while environmentalists say it causes pollution.
North Dakota crude production was more than 1 million barrels per day in April.
The industrial commission has a target to reduce flaring statewide by 26 percent by the end of this year, and another 23 percent by the first quarter of 2015.
The commission members are Governor Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.