Oil & Gas
The Division registers upstream well heads, and permits midstream and downstream oil and gas facilities. Information specific to the air pollution rules relative to oil and gas in North Dakota may be found here.
Questions may be addressed to the North Dakota Department of Health at 701.328.5188 or AirQuality@nd.gov.
Control of emissions from oil and gas well production facilities are outlined in
Chapter 33-15-20 of the North Dakota Air Pollution Control Rules. The provisions of this chapter apply to any oil or gas well production facility. This chapter includes requirements for control of production facility emissions, registration, reporting and permitting requirements.
Midstream and Upstream facilities are permitted under the Construction Permit and Operating Permit programs.
Upstream facilities, also know as exploration and production, include those which drill and extract oil and gas from the ground. These include oil and gas wells and tanks located at the well pad.
All Oil and Gas wells, regardless of producing pool, must be registered, with completed packages, to the Division within 90 days of first production.
Oil & Gas Well Registration
Midstream facilities are those which transport or store oil and gas from upstream facilities. These include tank batteries located off of well pads, pipelines, compressor stations, as well as truck and rail load-out stations.
Oil & Gas Midstream
Oil & Gas Documents and Bakken Guidance
Due to the unique properties of the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish formations, the Department has developed special guidelines and regulations related to the air quality requirements of facilities producing and processing oil and gas from these formations. Many of these documents apply to other non-Bakken, Three Forks, or Sanish wells.
|Memo to Operators About Guidance Document
||02 May 2011
|Oil and Gas Production Facilities Guidance
||02 May 2011
|Emission Calculation Workbook (.xls)
||07 March 2013
|Well Registration Form (SFN 14334)
|Example of Completed Well Registration Form (SFN 14334)*
|Examples of Completed Emission Calculation Workbook*
|Examples of Gas Analysis*
|NDDoH Clarification of VOC Emission Responsibilities for Oil & Gas Facilities Producing Prior to June 1, 2011
|Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (August)
||20 August 2012
|Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (October)
||19 October 2012
* All three, completed SFN 14334, completed Emission Calculation Workbook, and Gas Analysis must be submitted to the department within 90 days of first production. Failure to submit a complete registration packet for a new or re-completed well, within the 90 days, may be subject to enforcement action.
Last Updated: 05/18/2015
North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC)
The Division works in conjunction with the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) . The Division of Air Quality registers wells using the NDIC issued well number—wells will need to be registered with the Division of Air Quality independently of the NDIC. Well information such as location, name, number, and field can be looked up using the NDIC's well search .
Flaring in Oil & Gas
A minimum of a pit flare with 90% Destruction and Removal Efficiency (DRE) is required for well head and tank emission control on all new wells on the first date of production to ensure adequate control.
Evaluations of emissions using the Bakken Guidance will direct what level of control is needed next. More efficient pollution control is required for tanks located on oil and gas production sites where the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from tanks are greater than 20 tons per year; such controls must be in place and operational within 60 days of first production.
All flares must adhere to NDAC 33-15-07-02– Requirements for organic compounds gas disposal, NDAC 33-15-03-03.1— Restrictions Applicable to Flares, NDAC 33-15-20– Control of Emissions from Oil and Gas Well Production Facilities, and 40 CFR 60.18.
- Must be equipped and operated with an automatic ignitor or a continuous burning pilot (i.e. the flare must be operational and capable of proper combustion at all times).
- Visible emissions must not exceed 20% opacity except that a maximum of 60% opacity is permissible for not more than one six-minute period per hour.
NDIC Flare Reduction Rule
North Dakota Department of Health Division of Air Quality is responsible for flaring regulations associated with air quality and the control of pollutants. This includes when a flare must be used at a well site, the type of flare that is permissible, and proper operation of said flare. The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) has jurisdiction over the volume of gas flared at a well site in regards to conserving mineral resources. For more information about NDIC's flaring policy see Case No. 22058/Order No. 25665 .
JT Skids for Liquid Knockouts at Oil & Gas Production Sites
In an effort to reduce flaring per NDIC rule, many well pads are using JT skid/liquids knockouts on oil and gas production sites that operate without a sales gas line. JT skid/liquids knockouts collect and condense some of the Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), such as methane, out of tanks and from flare systems. This condensed gas is then trucked out and used as fuel. Since this effort to reduce flaring has a co-benefit to air quality, the Department has released a memo to streamline the use of temporary JT skids. This memo only applies to JT skids that meet minor source permitting standards, and are capable of processing 2 MMcfg or less.
Storage Vessel Guidance
Storage Vessels at Production Facilities (Upstream)
For sources that have Bakken Pool Guidance registrations on file with the Department, no additional registration is required to demonstrate that emissions per tank are less than 6 tons per year of VOCs. The production facility registration form (SFN14334) now includes a revised section "E" that provides for greater clarity on reporting for this purpose. If facility tank emissions as calculated under New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) Subpart OOOO (often called Quad-O) 40 CFR 60 Subpart OOOO are less than 6 tons per year of VOCs, operators are required to keep records of these emission calculations on site, and the records must be made available to the Department upon request.
Note: EPA Region 8, not the North Dakota Department of Health, is the implementing and enforcement agency for Subpart OOOO, facilities that are subject to Subpart OOOO may have record-keeping and reporting requirements to the EPA.
Storage Vessels at Non-Production Facilities (Midstream)
The Department has developed a storage vessel guidance to allow for establishment of emission limits for storage vessels of oil, condensate and produced water at non-production facilities to restrict emissions from each storage vessel to less than 6 tons per year of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
For other oil and gas related information please see the following government and industry sites:
Oil Well Flare
Flaring of gas burns Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and reduces ozone (O3) emissions.
VOCs Venting into the Atmosphere
Open thief hatches vent VOCs into the atmosphere.
Natural Gas Processing Plant
Some of the intricate piping at a natural gas plant.
Last Updated: 05/18/2015