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Industrial Commission approves guidelines for the new 'Natural Gas Pipeline Grant' program

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

North Dakota’s Industrial Commission has approved the timelines and the guidelines for the new Natural Gas Pipeline Grant Program.

That program was funded in the special Legislative Session, and will be paid for through the American Recovery Plan Act, or “ARPA.”

The Legislature appropriated $150 million from ARPA funds for the project, which aims to bring natural gas from the Bakken to central and eastern North Dakota. $10 million of that has been earmarked to build a short pipeline from the Viking Pipeline in western Minnesota to Grand Forks County, for a new “wet corn milling “plant.

The guidelines include requiring a minimum 60% match from the applicant; requiring that the applicant operate as a "common carrier," and demonstrates sufficient shipper commitments before receiving any money; and the establishment of a Natural Gas Review Committee, that will make a recommendation to the Industrial Commission.

The deadline for companies to apply for that $10 million grant is March First, 2022, with a decision due in August, 2022.

"The time frame for that Grand Forks portion, is to have it in-service by mid 2024," said North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad.

For the larger project, the deadline for application is April First, 2022, with a potential completion date of 2025 or 2026.

"We know gas volumes are ramping up in western North Dakota extremely quickly," Kringstad said. "Time is of the essence."

State officials are concerned that — because of the gas-oil ratio in the Bakken — oil production could be curtailed, to prevent flaring of natural gas.

Kringstad said this project will continue to shape North Dakota's oil and gas industry.

"This will continue to help shape North Dakota's oil and gas industry," Kringstad said. "It's an exciting time."

Kringstad said he's already been contacted by companies interested in the project.

The 2023 Legislature could be asked to increase the state's investment in that pipeline.

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