natural gas

MDU and Otter Tail customers will see benefits from the lower taxes those utilities are now paying, due to federal tax cuts.

The corporate tax rate was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent. And the investor-owned utilities are giving some or all of those savings back to customers in terms of one-time bill credits or lower utility rates.

More natural gas processing plants are coming on-line in the Bakken.

State pipeline authority director Justin Kringstad said two are being completed this year, and four others are scheduled next year.

"The two plants in 2018 are scheduled to come on-line in the September-October time frame," Kringstad said. "They will add 400 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas processing."

Kringstad said the total investment in those two facilities is $300 million.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Natural gas service could be coming this fall to the Bobcat plant in Gwinner.

MDU Resources has been working to bring natural gas to Gwinner from the Alliance Pipeline.

"We expect to be using natural gas in September, although the line won't be completed until probably November," Rich Goldsbury said in an interview.

Goldsbury said he’s also excited about having a broader discussion with communities in that region who haven’t had natural gas service before.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The developers of a crude oil pipeline in western North Dakota have changed directions – and are proposing to convert it to transport natural gas liquids.

The BakkenLink Pipeline runs from Williams to Billings County. It's  124 miles long, and 12-inches in diameter.

"This crude oil line wasn't developed as planned," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "It was originally planned to go under Lake Sakakawea, and take crude oil to the north of the lake, connecting with the Sandpiper Pipeline."

PSC formal hearing on MDU natural gas rate case

May 31, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission is holding a formal hearing on MDU’s request for a natural gas rate increase.

Using raw natural gas for enhanced oil recovery

May 25, 2018
Amy Sisk

Later this year, a pilot project will begin in the Bakken to use raw natural gas for enhanced oil recovery.

Denver-based Liberty Resources. Liberty is partnering with the Energy and Environmental Research Center on the pilot project.

"We had an opportunity here that's been utilized elsewhere in conventional oil reservoirs," said Liberty president and CEO Mark Pearson. "Now there is a low-cost opportunity here."

Pearson said this technique is used in Alaska, in vertical wells.

PSC: Kudos to MDU for natural gas expansion projects

May 21, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission are commending MDU for its natural gas expansion projects.

MDU is building a pipeline from the existing Alliance Pipeline to Gwinner, to serve the Doosan Bobcat plant. It is also building a pipeline to connect its Williston Basin line to the Viking pipeline in western Minnesota.

Some communities have said businesses won’t expand or locate because of a lack of natural gas service.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak has long pushed for natural gas expansion.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Bismarck-based MDU Resources expects a project to bring natural gas to the Doosan Bobcat plant in Gwinner will be finished by this fall.

MDU will be building 21 miles of pipeline from the Alliance Pipeline to the Bobcat plant.

"Materials are being purchased, and will be delivered soon to the site," said MDU Resources president and CEO David Goodin. "Right-of-way is being secured."

Goodin said the project itself will only take about 60 to 90 days to build, once the preliminary work is done.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved ONEOK’s plans to convert an existing pipeline from natural gas to natural gas liquids.

The 45 mile, 12-inch diameter Cherry Creek pipeline runs from the Lonesome Creek gas plant to the Stateline gas plant. It will carry 50,000 barrels of the natural gas liquids daily.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this will help companies reach their flaring reduction goals. And she said transportation by pipeline is safer than using trucks or rail cars.

"This is pretty volatile stuff," Fedorchak said. "This is the best way to do it."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved some tweaks to the Commission’s natural gas flaring rules.

"We think that refocusing our efforts on stranded gas, and on people who are not meeting gas capture goals, while keeping the goals in place and keeping their feet to the fire, is the right way to go," said state Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms.

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