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New pipeline project to ease natural gas 'bottleneck'

The director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the North Bakken Extension Pipeline project is important for natural gas development in the Bakken, north of Lake Sakakawea.

"That's the choke point in their natural gas capture scenario," said Authority director Justin Kringstad. He said that area has been constrained in its ability to receive and process natural gas.

"Without incremental pipeline capacity, north of Lake Sakakawea, it's really challenging for new projects to be developed," Kringstad said. "You could not just stick a new gas plant north of Lake Sakakawea, because you had no place for the tailgate of that gas plant to move its gas."

Kringstad said once the new pipeline comes on-line, it would free up that area for additional gas capture investment. He said it will also mean more tax revenue for North Dakota.

"I tried to do some rough numbers on tax revenue," Kringstad said. "It would mean about $1 million per day, at its name-plate capacity."

Kringstad said that is a significant impact for the industry, the state, and all the people north of the lake who have had challenges for a number of years, due to a lack of adequate pipeline capacity.

The pipeline is expected to be operational by the end of the year. The cost of the expansion is around $220 million. It will carry 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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