North Dakota flares over 300 MCF/day of natural gas, yet provides no incentives to move this gas into compressed natural gas applications for vehicle/fleet usage. Many other states such as Oklahoma, California and Texas have aggressive incentives from tax credits to rebates, loans and subsidies for the conversion of vehicles and fueling stations. Providing incentives for more energy solutions is part of the forward thinking we need to spur. This will spark more business and jobs, and drive ideas and innovation to our state.
Blaise Energy operates and maintains engines running 24/7 off raw unprocessed wellhead gas in a demanding oil patch environment for power generation. These are piston-driven engines with the same components as automotive/truck engines. The same flare gas can be minimally processed at the wellhead, which we are doing today, and then be used in bi-fuel applications for drilling rigs and vehicle applications. We converted our field service vehicles to be bi-fuel powered running on CNG or gasoline, which are operating without issue.
There is only one fueling station in the state (in Dickinson) — an old antiquated system being phased out by the owner. More fleets would likely convert but there are no CNG fueling stations to support them. Our state needs incentives for these stations, which will encourage CNG vehicle adoption and companies to invest in infrastructure. Our company is piloting a way to fill our fleet at flaring locations — take the flare and put it in your tank.
North Dakota has emerged globally for energy production and technology advances. We must take a progressive lead breaking this chicken/egg situation between CNG fleet adoption/infrastructure to advance us in energy production and utilization. Incentivizing new markets — especially to consume wasted flare gas — is a smart idea and good stewardship of our state resources.