Deputy Secretary Connor to Visit North Dakota, Discuss Oil and Gas Venting and Flaring with Key Stakeholders

Last edited 4/27/2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to create jobs and cut carbon pollution, on May 9, 2014, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor will hold an outreach meeting to discuss options for addressing venting and flaring from conventional energy development on public lands. Following the meeting with federal, state, local and tribal leaders and oil and gas producers and stakeholders, Deputy Secretary Connor will hold a media availability to discuss his two-day visit to North Dakota.

During his visit, Deputy Secretary Connor will see the Bakken energy boom firsthand, touring the Enerplus Precision 560 drill rig, the EOG Resources production facility and the Fidelity Location oil and gas site. He will meet with Chairman Tex Hall and members the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation; the Bakken Federal Executive Group; and North Dakota Petroleum Council. Connor will also visit with Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management officials and staffs.

Following his remarks to a public outreach session being hosted by the Bureau of Land Management on “Venting and Flaring from Oil and Gas Operations on Public Lands,” Connor will cap his visit with a 2:15 pm MDT media availability, which will be held outside the Grand Dakota Ballroom at the Ramada Inn in Dickinson, ND.

As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, and the Interagency Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, Interior is working collaboratively with its federal partners, state governments, tribal communities and the private sector to capture and sell natural gas and reduce methane emissions from oil, gas and coal development on public lands to improve air quality and achieve public health and economic benefits. Interior's Bureau of Land Management is studying ways to reduce the amount of methane vented or flared from these activities and is hosting the May 9 public outreach session to continue a dialogue on the initiative with tribal and state governments and receive feedback from stakeholders. Previous sessions have been held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Denver, Colorado.

Secretary Jewell last August visited North Dakota's Bakken Region to inspect new technologies being employed by some companies in the region to capture and reduce natural gas and methane emissions. In January Jewell also met with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and representatives from the oil and gas industry, non-government organizations, and Colorado officials in a roundtable discussion regarding efforts to reduce methane emissions during the production, storage and transportation of oil and gas.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that steps be taken to reduce the amount of vented and flared natural gas, estimating that up to 40 percent of the gas being vented or flared on onshore federal leases could be economically captured with currently available control technologies. The GAO also estimated that lost royalties from vented and flared gas total $23 million per year, based on an estimated 126 billion cubic feet vented or flared annually from all sources on federal onshore leases. Environmentally, it is estimated that methane (a component of natural gas) accounts for 9 percent of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and that almost a third of that volume comes from oil and gas operations, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

Michael L. Connor, Deputy Secretary of the Interior
Linda Lance, BLM Deputy Director, Policy
Tim Spisak, BLM Senior Advisor for Conventional Energy


Media Availability to Discuss Deputy Secretary Connor's visit to North Dakota


Friday, May 9, 2014: 2:15 pm MDT


Outside the Grand Dakota Ballroom

Ramada Inn

532 15th St. West

Dickinson, ND 58601


Media interested in attending the press conference are encouraged to RSVP here.