Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oil executives say Bakken crude stabilization unnecessary

(FNS Photo by Mike Nowatzki) Brent Lohnes, director of field and plant operations for Hess Corp., testifies Tuesday 

An environmental watchdog group accused the industry of putting profits before public safety during Tuesday’s hearing, which was called by the North Dakota Industrial Commission as it considers whether to impose oil conditioning standards on the light, sweet crude before shipment.

“All I’ve heard this morning has been whining about how this would be expensive,” Dakota Resource Council senior organizer Scott Skokos said, standing in front of a sign that declared “Stop bomb trains, Stabilize Bakken crude” in large orange letters. “This is about public safety first and foremost.”

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the Industrial Commission’s chairman, and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley both attended the hearing, driving home the issue’s importance to the nation’s second-leading oil producing state behind Texas....

....North Dakota already requires oil wells to have conditioning equipment such as separators, heater treaters and stock tanks that use temperature, pressure and time to separate water and volatile gases from Bakken crude, Cutting noted.

Going beyond that by requiring centralized stabilizers that would strip natural gas liquids and gases “would be a costly, redundant process that would not yield any additional safety benefits,” she said..... read more here

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