GRAND FORKS, N.D., Nov. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota has received the prestigious Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) 2014 Chairman's Stewardship Award in Environmental Partnership for its Bakken Production Optimization Program. The award was presented by 2014 IOGCC Vice Chair Cathy Foerster, Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, during the IOGCC Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
"We are incredibly honored to receive this award," said EERC Associate Director for Research John Harju. "I would like to acknowledge the insight and contributions of all partners involved. Great partners make great projects, and we look forward to continued success in the future," Harju said.
IOGCC is a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas while protecting health, safety, and the environment. The awards were given to recipients in four categories: energy education, environmental partnership, small company, and large company.
In a letter to the EERC, Governor Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) congratulated the EERC team on its efforts.
"As governor and North Dakota Industrial Commission Chairman, I am pleased that the state of North Dakota, through the Oil and Gas Research Program, was able to partner with industry and fund the Bakken Production Optimization Program. Through this program, we are tracking some of the key issues facing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota, such as flaring, spill remediation, waste minimization, and reclamation," Dalrymple wrote.
He continued, "The work you are performing through this program supports the continued development of our energy and agriculture industries while also protecting the land for future generations."
The goal of the EERC's Bakken Production Optimization Program is to improve Bakken system oil recovery while simultaneously reducing its environmental footprint. The results of the 3-year program will increase well productivity and the economic output of North Dakota's oil and gas resources, decrease environmental impacts of wellsite operations, and reduce demand for infrastructure construction and maintenance.
The EERC is coordinating this effort with the North Dakota Industrial Commission's Oil and Gas Research Program, along with project partners Continental Resources, ConocoPhillips, Hess Corporation, Hitachi Data Systems, Marathon Oil, Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Oasis Petroleum, SM Energy, Whiting, and XTO Energy.
"The Chairman's Stewardship Awards are IOGCC's highest honor for the oil and natural gas industry in environmental stewardship," said Harju. "During its first year, our program has already resulted in significant contributions to optimized well-drilling plans that minimize land impacts, flared gas reduction plans that minimize air emissions and wasted gas resources, and improved waste disposal plans in North Dakota. This is a true testament to the dedication of our great partners and the faith they've placed in the EERC team," he said.
The Oil and Gas Research Program is overseen by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
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Source:Energy & Environmental Research Center(EERC)