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Appropriations Committees considering natural gas pipeline proposal

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad testifies before interim Senate Appropriations Committee

The Legislature is being asked to use $100 million or more from the federal American Recovery Plan Act toward a natural gas pipeline, that would bring Bakken gas to eastern North Dakota.

Accessing the money would require a match from a private investor that wants to build it.

One of the sponsors – Sen. Curt Kreun (R-Grand Forks) — told the Senate Appropriations Committee this would help bring gas to areas that don’t have it – and want it, because of the ability to attract large industrial projects, that often demand natural gas.

"This would put Bakken natural gas to work in North Dakota, instead of shipping it out to Chicago, or wherever else it might go, to compete against our needs we have in the state to attract economic development," Kreun told the committee.

North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad testified this kind or project would help diminish natural gas flaring, but would also help oil production.

"We've seen a producer mind-set shift," Kringstad said. "Flaring is not a tool in their tool belt they want to continue to utilize. So they will throttle production and activity, in order to keep their gas capture numbers in-check."

Kringstad said unless projects like this can come on line, the current capacity for shipping natural gas will hit a ceiling in two to four years, and that could reduce oil production.

If okayed by the two Appropriations committees, the matter will be discussed in the Legislature’s November special session.

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