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Energy & Environment

PSC okays two new pipeline projects

The Public Service Commission has okayed two more pipeline projects in the oil patch.

One of the projects would carry 50,000 to 75,000 barrels of crude oil each day from a crude oil handling facility to the Tesoro Johnsons Corner Station, where it would  connect with the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. It will be built by Oasis Midstream Services. It would run 19 miles, and cost $13 million to build.

"It isn't very long, but it does provide a good additional resource for transporting this oil and eliminating trucks on the road," PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak said. "I read in the application that it would eliminate up to 280 trucks per day."

The second pipeline project is a natural gas liquids pipeline. It would be built by ONEOK in Dunn and McKenzie Counties. It would be 37 miles long, and would run from the Bear Creek Plant in Dunn County to the Targa pipeline in McKenzie County.

Fedorchak says flaring of natural gas in the Williston Basin is now down to 13 percent.

"It's projects like this, the gas plants and the gathering lines make this whole cycle as economic as possible," Fedorchak said. "These are all pieces that make the 13 percent, and even lower, flaring in the future possible."

The ONEOK pipeline will cost $45 million to build.

"Despite the talk that we hear about the slowdown, and it's real, it's not a bust, either," Commissioner Randy Christmann said. "these two cases show that the oil and gas industry is here in North Dakota for th elong term. They're still looking at it as being a long-term positive, and they're investing substantial amounts of money to make sure they can handle and move their product continually safer and more efficiently."

In addition, the PSC has scheduled a hearing on another new pipeline project, as well as two modifications on already-approved pipelines.

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