WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- North Dakota is on pace to meet its yearly goal for curbing the amount of natural gas burned off during oil production, the U.S. Energy Department said Monday.
"The first target of 26 percent flared is set for fourth quarter 2014, with continued decreases in flaring reaching 10 percent by 2020," the department's Energy Information Administration said.
North Dakota's energy infrastructure hasn't been able to keep pace with the rapid rise in oil production and, as a result, much of the gas associated with oil deposits is burned off, or flared.
EIA said North Dakota is already within 2 percentage points of meeting its target for the fourth quarter.
In September, the U.S. subsidiary of Norwegian energy company Statoil, along with a joint venture between General Electric and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels, announced plans to expand the so-called Last Mile project in order to capture flared natural gas and use it to power Statoil's drilling operations in North Dakota.
North Dakota lags behind other oil-producing states in gas utilization, but set a goal of capturing 90 percent of associated gas within six years.