Oil & Gas

The Division registers upstream well heads, and permits midstream and downstream oil and gas facilities. Information specific to the air pollution rules relative to oil and gas in North Dakota may be found here.

Questions about well inspections may be addressed to Matt Bingert at 701-328-5192 or (MBingert@nd.gov).
Questions about well registration may be addressed to Wyatt Peterson at 701-328-5184 or (Wyatt.Peterson@nd.gov).
Questions about NSPS OOOO/OOOOa reporting may be addressed to Russell Martin at 701-328-4639 or (RSMartin@nd.gov).

Control of emissions from oil and gas well production facilities are outlined in Chapter 33.1-15-20 of the North Dakota Air Pollution Control Rules. The provisions of this chapter apply to any oil or gas well production facility. This chapter includes requirements for control of production facility emissions, registration, reporting and permitting requirements.

Midstream and Upstream facilities are permitted under the Construction Permit and Operating Permit programs.

Upstream facilities, also know as exploration and production, include those which drill and extract oil and gas from the ground. These include oil and gas wells and tanks located at the well pad.

All Oil and Gas wells, regardless of producing pool, must be registered, with completed packages, to the Division within 90 days of first production.
Oil & Gas Well Registration

Midstream facilities are those which transport or store oil and gas from upstream facilities. These include tank batteries located off of well pads, pipelines, compressor stations, as well as truck and rail load-out stations.

Oil & Gas Midstream

Due to the unique properties of the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish formations, the Department has developed special guidelines and regulations related to the air quality requirements of facilities producing and processing oil and gas from these formations. Many of these documents apply to other non-Bakken, Three Forks, or Sanish wells.

Click to Expand

Document Name

Rev. Date

Doc Type

Testing Requirements for Non-Emergency Engines (RICE) Located at Minor Source Oil and Gas Facilities 09 June 2021 Policy
Compliance Alert – Air Emissions from Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities 05 October 2020 Policy
Memo to Operators About Guidance Document 02 May 2011 Policy
Oil and Gas Production Facilities Guidance (aka Bakken Guidance) 02 May 2011 Policy
Emission Calculation Workbook (.xls )   06 July 2020 Form
Well Registration Form (SFN 14334)   10-19 Form
Examples of Gas Analysis 05-15 Form-Example
Regulation Summary 01-13 Policy
Bakken Pool Oil & Gas Guidance Policy Method 22 Clarification 10 October 2011 Policy
NDDoH Clarification of VOC Emission Responsibilities for Oil & Gas Facilities Producing Prior to June 1, 2011 07-11 Policy
Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (August) 20 August 2012 Policy
Air Pollution Control Equipment Operations (October) 19 October 2012 Policy
Storage Vessels at Oil & Gas Non-Production Facilities 27 May 2015 Policy
Storage Vessel Guidance 09 October 2013 Policy
ND Storage Vessel Registration Cover Letter (.docx ) 09 October 2013 Policy
ND Spreadsheet for Storage Vessel Guidance (.xlsx ) 09 October 2013 Policy
Memo & EPA Compliance Alert forAir Emissions at Oil and Gas Production Storage Vessels 19 October 2015 Policy
Compliance Requirements for Condensate Truck Loadout Emissions 03 February 2020 Policy
High Efficiency Program Specifically Applies to Flares (Steffes, LLC) For Midstream Facilities 15 March 2021 Oil &Gas
High Efficiency Program Specifically Applies to Flares (Steffes, LLC) For Upstream Production Facilities 15 March 2021 Oil &Gas
High Efficiency Program Specifically Applies to Combustors For Upstream Production Facilities 18 March 2021 Oil &Gas
High Efficiency Program Specifically Applies to Flares (Steffes, LLC) For Upstream Production Facilities 13 January 2022 Oil &Gas
Control of Storage Tanks at Shut-In Upstream Production Facilities 23 August 2021 Oil &Gas

Oil and Gas Production Facility Registrations must be submitted through CERIS-ND for new and modified Oil and Gas Production Sites.

 Access CERIS-ND

Required Oil and Gas Production Facility Registrations must be submitted to the Department within 90 days of first production using CERIS-ND. Failure to submit a complete Oil and Gas Production Facility Registration — Modification form for a new or re-completed well (search by API well or NDIC Permit number), within the 90 days, may be subject to enforcement action.

The Department has completed rulemaking to take primacy of NSPS OOOO and OOOOa (Quad-O/Oa) as directed by House Bill 1024 (HB1024 from the 66th Assembly). For information about the Department's implementation of these Subparts and how to submit Quad-O/Oa reports and notifications to the Department see our Quad-O/Oa page (button below).

Quad-O/Oa Reporting

The Division works in conjunction with the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) . The Division of Air Quality registers wells using the NDIC issued well number—wells will need to be registered with the Division of Air Quality independently of the NDIC. Well information such as location, name, number, and field can be looked up using the NDIC's well search .

A minimum of a pit flare with 90% Destruction and Removal Efficiency (DRE) is required for well head and tank emission control on all new wells on the first date of production to ensure adequate control.

Evaluations of emissions using the Bakken Guidance will direct what level of control is needed next. More efficient pollution control is required for tanks located on oil and gas production sites where the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from tanks are greater than 20 tons per year; such controls must be in place and operational within 60 days of first production.

Flare Requirements

All flares must adhere to NDAC 33.1-15-07-02– Requirements for organic compounds gas disposal, NDAC 33.1-15-03-03.1— Restrictions Applicable to Flares, NDAC 33.1-15-20– Control of Emissions from Oil and Gas Well Production Facilities, and 40 CFR 60.18.

  • Must be equipped and operated with an automatic ignitor or a continuous burning pilot (i.e. the flare must be operational and capable of proper combustion at all times).
  • Visible emissions must not exceed 20% opacity except that a maximum of 60% opacity is permissible for not more than one six-minute period per hour.

NDIC Flare Reduction Rule

North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Air Quality is responsible for flaring regulations associated with air quality and the control of pollutants. This includes when a flare must be used at a well site, the type of flare that is permissible, and proper operation of said flare. The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) has jurisdiction over the volume of gas flared at a well site in regards to conserving mineral resources. For more information about NDIC's flaring policy see Case No. 22058/Order No. 24665 .

JT Skids for Liquid Knockouts at Oil & Gas Production Sites

In an effort to reduce flaring per NDIC rule, many well pads are using JT skid/liquids knockouts on oil and gas production sites that operate without a sales gas line. JT skid/liquids knockouts collect and condense some of the Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), such as methane, out of tanks and from flare systems. This condensed gas is then trucked out and used as fuel. Since this effort to reduce flaring has a co-benefit to air quality, the Department has released a memo to streamline the use of temporary JT skids. This memo only applies to JT skids that meet minor source permitting standards, and are capable of processing 2 MMcfg or less.

For sources that have Bakken Pool Guidance registrations on file with the Department, no additional registration is required to demonstrate that emissions per tank are less than 6 tons per year of VOCs. The production facility registration form (SFN14334) now includes a revised section "E" that provides for greater clarity on reporting for this purpose. If facility tank emissions as calculated under New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) Subpart OOOO (often called Quad-O) 40 CFR 60 Subpart OOOO are less than 6 tons per year of VOCs, operators are required to keep records of these emission calculations on site, and the records must be made available to the Department upon request.

Note: As of July 1, 2020 North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, is the implementing and enforcement agency for Subpart OOOO/OOOOa, facilities that are subject to Subpart OOOO/OOOOa may have record-keeping and reporting requirements to the Department, for instructions on how to submit reporting and notifications see our Quad-O/Oa Page.

October 2015 EPA Compliance Alert for Emissions from Oil and Gas Production Storage Vessels

The end goal of the High Efficiency Program is to reduce fugitive emissions, increase control efficiency, and improve North Dakota’s air quality. The High Efficiency Program is an optional flare/combustor approval program within the Division of Air Quality. The program requires collaboration between control device manufacturers, industry leaders, facility operators, and the Department.

The High Efficiency Program takes a top-down approach to addressing emissions from oil and gas facilities through the following steps:

  1. Flare and combustor manufacturers who want to certify their products within the High Efficiency Program must perform rigorous testing, which is reviewed independently by the Department.
  2. Companies operating oil and gas facilities work with the Department to negotiate an agreement to ensure that both the approved control devices and the facility itself continuously reduce emissions through enhanced inspections monitoring, maintenance, and air pollution control equipment.
  3. The Department monitors all aspects of the program to ensure that emissions are being maintained within the standards of the High Efficiency Program.
The Department must approve the use of flares or combustors within the High Efficiency Program BEFORE any alternative emission factors can be used .


For more information on the high efficiency program see our High Efficiency Program page.

For other oil and gas related information please see the following government and industry sites:

Oil Well Flare

Flaring of gas burns Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and reduces ozone (O3) emissions.

VOCs Venting into the Atmosphere

Open thief hatches vent VOCs into the atmosphere.

Well in the Morning

FLIR Camera

Color gradient image of VOCs being emitted from a tank.

Last Updated: 01/18/2022