Put flared gas to use

Daniel Lafontaine

Plymouth, Minn.

I am a retired electrical engineer and believe that the oil companies should be forced to convert the natural gas to electricity. For the cost of natural gas powered generators, and wires connected to the electrical grid, the flared gas can be converted directly to useful energy at the site.

Other strategies proposed for the state require long-term investment, such as building greenhouses and thus more infrastructure. The generators can be added in multiple numbers at each site to handle the natural gas capacity of each well.

The natural gas burning generators are commercially available at a low cost in the 50-100KW range. Many of your readers may not know this, but it appears the oil companies vary the rate of the flaring as well. After midnight and until the sun starts to rise, the flares go from relatively small flames to giant roaring torches. Unfortunately, I observed this several times while fishing at night on Lake Sakakawea.