North Dakota gas fields visible at night from space: NASA

• January 31, 2013
Gas Flares at Night

Flaring Gas at night in North Dakota | Courtesy: NASA, 2013

Russia, Nigeria, Iran and Iraq have long faced criticism for gas flaring and now, thanks to new visuals from NASA, there’s another country to add to the list: the United States.

In just five years, the volume of gas flared in the United States has tripled due to the boom in shale oil. In North Dakota this has created shale oil fields so large their flares are visible from space.

The volume of flaring in North Dakota, the leading state in the shale oil revolution increased by a whopping 50 percent last year. The Bakken field in the state is now responsible for 10 percent of total U.S. output but, because the state is remote, pipeline connections have failed to keep pace.

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