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North Dakota natural gas wasted, lawsuit says

Nov. 13, 2013 at 8:07 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- An attorney for landowners in North Dakota said a lawsuit against energy companies in the state could force them to stop wasting gas tied to oil production.

Britton Monts of Austin, Texas, said the suit against companies that burn off some of the natural gas associated with oil production because there isn't enough pipeline infrastructure to accommodate gas deliveries might force them to review their options.

"There's so much waste going on," Monts said in a Dallas Morning News report.

North Dakota landowners who lease their land to energy companies are seeking royalties they would receive if the gas wasn't burned off. They sued 10 U.S. and international oil companies. Two of the companies, XTO Energy and Marathon Oil, have headquarters in Texas.

XTO Energy spokeswoman Suann Lundsberg told the newspaper the company was "reviewing the specific allegations."

A 12-page report published in July by advocacy group Ceres, formed in Boston in 1989 in support of a sustainable economy, said associated natural gas from North Dakota could be worth as much as $13.50 per thousand cubic feet, the benchmark volume for marketed natural gas.

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