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Associated Press , Published April 08 2013

ND measure aimed at curbing natural gas flaring

BISMARCK — North Dakota's Senate has endorsed a measure aimed at curbing the oil industry's practice wasting natural gas at oil wells.

The Senate voted to 46-1 Monday. North Dakota's House approved the bill in February.

Oil companies in North Dakota can burn off or flare natural gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties on it.

If signed into law, companies would have only six months to connect to the pipeline. Companies also could move the gas by other methods use it for such things as electrical generation. Companies also would get tax breaks for capturing the gas.

More than 30 percent of the state's gas production is being flared because development of the pipelines and processing facilities needed to handle it has not kept pace with production.

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