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Hess finishes work to ease excess flaring

TIOGA, N.D. - Crews completed maintenance work at the Hess Tioga Gas Plant over the weekend after days of significant natural gas flaring in the region.

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Natural gas is flared at a compressor station south of Ross, N.D., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, due to maintenance that was ongoing at the Hess Tioga Gas Plant. Hess estimated that 20 million cubic feet per day of natural gas would be flared at the Ross site during the plant outage. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
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TIOGA, N.D. – Crews completed maintenance work at the Hess Tioga Gas Plant over the weekend after days of significant natural gas flaring in the region.

North Dakota’s largest natural gas processing plant restarted Sunday afternoon, Hess Corp. said Monday. The maintenance remedies a problem that was causing noticeable flaring at the plant, said spokesman John Roper.

The plant shut down last Wednesday and caused more flaring at the plant, along with flaring near Tioga, Ray, Ross and Keene.

The shutdown required the plant to flare an estimated 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to an email Hess sent to state regulators. Another 88 million cubic feet per day of natural gas was estimated to be flared at six compressor stations.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, estimated that the plant outage would increase statewide natural gas flaring by 1.4 percent in November.

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Companies that experienced more flaring at the well sites will be required to comply with state gas capture targets, spokeswoman Alison Ritter said.

The maintenance work was on the plant’s amine system, which removes hydrogen sulfide from the gas stream that comes from older non-Bakken wells, according to an email from Hess to regulators.

A chemical wash of a tower cleared out buildup that was restricting flow, the company told regulators. Hess is now working to eliminate or minimize buildup in the tower to prevent future plant shutdowns.

Hess completed a major upgrade to the Tioga plant in 2014, bringing the total processing capacity to 250 million cubic feet per day.

North Dakota oil and gas operators flared 19 percent of natural gas produced in September, the most recent figures available, or a total of about 300 million cubic feet per day, according to the Department of Mineral Resources.

 

 

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