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April 1 marks new oil regulations in North Dakota

The North Dakota Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee approved new regulations this week for the oil industry. The rules include:

-increased bond requirement for oil wells
-disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals
-elimination of oil waste pits and reclamation of current oil waste pits within a year

line of oil rigsAccording to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, the new regulations are tough but necessary to protect the state’s resources. The Bismarck Tribune reports that state official think the number of oil wells in North Dakota could quadruple in the next several years. Bruce Hicks of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reports that there haven’t been extensive rule changes in 30 years and were needed to ensure they were protecting the environment.

Industry representatives have concern the added cost to oil companies will hamper exploratory drilling outside the Bakken formation. Ron Ness of the Petroleum Council reports to the Fargo-Moorhead Forum that he knows of at least one company that will move their operation to South Dakota because of these rule changes.

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