Why Can't the Bakken Get Gas Flaring Under Control?

Oil and gas production has been going on for years, but the region has been continually flummoxed by gas flaring issues.

Jun 17, 2014 at 10:18AM

Oil production in the Bakken formation has a problem it just can't seem to fix: natural gas flaring. Today, more natural gas is flared off there than total production from the region only two years ago. Despite large investmets from ONEOK Partners (NYSE:OKS) to expand natural gas capacity, producers in the region such as Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE:KOG) and Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) are forfeiting millions of dollars in revenue by flaring off gas.

So why exactly is this still a problem? Last time I checked, companies like to make money, and simply burning natural gas with nothing to show for it isn't exactly the way to do that. Also, if these companies can't get gas flaring under control, local and state governemnts are prepared to put regulations on the industry that could severely restrict production growth -- something that nobody really wants. 

Find out what is keeping the Bakken region from getting this problem under control, what the government plans to do if it isn't stopped soon, and how perhaps some innovative thinking from General Electric (NYSE:GE) could make this all go away by checking out the slideshow below.

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Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google +, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool recommends ONEOK Partners and Statoil (ADR) and owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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