Natural gas is a vital component of a diversification strategy that can enhance North American energy security, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.
New advances in drilling technology have helped make North Dakota a leader in terms of oil production in the United States. Natural gas associated with oil is burned off in most cases in the state because of the lack of technology to utilize that resource.
Dalrymple said at an energy conference in Washington his state was working to reduce so-called flaring in an effort to utilize more natural gas.
"By developing greater utilization we can further diversify our energy supply and continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," he said in a statement Monday.
His office said North Dakota increased its gas processing capacity from 225 million cubic feet per day in 2006 to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day last year.
Last month, the governor expressed support for the so-called Dakota pipeline, a 375-mile natural gas pipeline planned by WBI Energy Inc. to deliver natural gas from the Bakken reserve area in the west of the state to eastern North Dakota consumers.