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North Dakota nearing 5 billion barrels of oil drilled, Helms says focus on CO2 needed to maximize drilling potential

BISMARCK, N.D. (KUMV) - North Dakota is set to reach five billion barrels of oil drilled within the next month or so. State Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said building infrastructure for carbon dioxide will be the biggest factor in increasing the totals.

When oil is produced, natural gas is created as a byproduct which is either flared or captured and transported through pipelines. As more oil is produced from wells farther out from the core of the Bakken, statistics from the North Dakota Pipeline Authority estimate existing pipelines will have to be capped before the end of the decade, meaning oil production will decrease.

Helms said the current stopgap, set for around 2027, can be extended if TC Energy receives federal approval for the Bison Xpress Pipeline, which would add another two years of breathing room.

“We hope we get approval this year, but we don’t have a federal government that likes oil and gas moving around,” said Helms.

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