ND regulator: Oil production to double by 2017

DICKINSON, N.D. — North Dakota’s top oil regulator says the state’s daily oil production will double to 1.6 million barrels by 2017.

The Dickinson Press reports that Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms made the prediction Thursday in Dickinson at the annual meeting of the North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties.

Helms says natural gas flaring as the No. 1 challenge for state regulators. Helms says he’s working with the North Dakota Industrial Commission about policy changes that could help decrease flaring.

Regulators say 30 percent of the state’s gas production is being burned off because development of the pipelines and processing facilities needed to handle it has not kept pace with production.