Oil & Gas Upstream

All oil and gas wells within the state must be registered with the Division of Air Quality.

Questions may be addressed to the Department at 701.328.5188 or email Adam Rookey at (arookey@nd.gov).


Applicability

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 within the state. This chapter includes requirements for control of production facility emissions, registration, reporting and permitting requirements.


Oil and Gas Well Registration

An oil/gas production facility registration form (SFN 14334) and an analysis of any gas produced from the well must be submitted to the North Dakota Department of Health for any and all oil or gas well regardless of pool.

There is a $150 fee for each new oil and gas well registration submitted to the Department, if amendments are made to a well that has previously been registered the $150 fee is waived. Click here for the Department memo explaining the $150 filing fee beginning January 1, 2013.

The registration form and packet must be submitted to the Department within 90 days of the completion or re-completion of the well.
  1. Any oil and gas well that is/was completed or re-completed on or after July 1, 1987.

  2. Any oil and gas well that has been completed or re-completed prior to July 1, 1987, and that emits 10 tons per year or more of sulfur (all sulfur compounds expressed as sulfur).

  3. The owner or operator of any oil or gas well shall inform the Department of any change to the information contained on the registration form for a particular well and shall submit a new gas analysis if the composition or the volume of the gas produced from the well has changed from the previous analysis to cause an increase of 10 tons per year or more of sulfur (all sulfur compounds expressed as sulfur).

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Registration How to Guide

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT)

  • Equipment at oil and gas facilities may be subject to rules and regulations under NSPS (40 CFR 60) and NESHAP ( 40 CFR 63), see Regulation Summary.

  • If emissions exceed 100 tons per year of any criteria pollutant or 25 tons per year combined HAPs or 10 tons per year of any one HAP, then the facility is subject to Title V requirements.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)

  • Any oil or gas well production facility that emits or has the potential to emit 250 tons per year or more of any air contaminant regulated under North Dakota Century Code Chapter 23-25, as determined by the Department of Health must comply with the permitting requirements of Chapter 33-15-15 (Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality).

  • If emissions exceed 100 tons per year of any criteria pollutant or 25 tons per year combined HAPs or 10 tons per year of any one HAP, then the facility is subject to Title V requirements.

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.

Document Name

Rev. Date

Doc Type

Memo to Operators About Guidance Document 02 May 2011 Policy
Oil and Gas Production Facilities Guidance 02 May 2011 Policy
Emission Calculation Workbook (.xls) 07 March 2013 Form
Well Registration Form (SFN 14334) 10-13 Form
Example of Completed Well Registration Form (SFN 14334)* 05-15 Form-Example
Examples of Completed Emission Calculation Workbook* 05-15 Form-Example
Examples of Gas Analysis* 05-15 Form-Example
Regulation Summary 01-13 Policy
NDDoH Clarification of VOC Emission Responsibilities for Oil & Gas Facilities Producing Prior to June 1, 2011 07-11 Policy
Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (August) 20 August 2012 Policy
Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (October) 19 October 2012 Policy
Storage Vessels at Oil & Gas Non-Production Facilities 27 May 2015 Policy

* 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.

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Last Updated: 05/27/2015


Control of Emissions at Oil and Gas Production Facilities

Emissions must be controlled at all times with the proper use of flares, submerged fill pipes on tanks greater than 1,000 gallons (NDAC 33-15-07-03), thief hatches must be closed, vents and other safety controls must be in proper working order.


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.

Flare Requirements

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.


Last Updated: 05/18/2015

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