Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Barrasso presses Jewell on venting and flaring rule

In a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Senator John Barrasso today called on Jewell to follow through on expediting permits for natural gas-gathering lines on federal land. Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee, said that if a Bureau of Land Management’s proposal on oil and gas industry venting and flaring “fails to expedite permitting’ it would “do little to reduce flaring and punish operators for circumstances largely outside of their control,” Barrasso wrote. “(I) ask that you ensure that any final rule include a means by which BLM can readily account for and promptly address delays in permitting gas-gathering lines on federal land,” the letter stated. The rule — entitled Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation — was published in the Federal Register on February 8. “I understand that the proposed rule is intended to help reduce unnecessary venting and flaring of natural gas at oil wells on federal and Indian land,” Barrasso wrote. “While I support efforts to reduce unnecessary venting and flaring of natural gas, I’m concerned that the rule fails to address a principal reason for flaring: protracted delays in the permitting of natural gas gathering lines and related infrastructure.” The proposed rule would set limits on flaring, assess royalties on gas flared above those limits, and require operators to submit a plan to minimize waste...more

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