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Gas pipeline deadline extended until Aug. 15th

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North Dakota's Industrial Commission has extended the deadline for companies interested in building a pipeline to bring natural gas from the Bakken to eastern North Dakota.

The North Dakota Legislature approved $150 million in seed money for the pipeline.

But An April deadline has passed.

WBI Energy -- a subsidiary of MDU Resources -- had initially applied, but decided the project wasn't financially viable at the present time, due to high cost estimates and limited in-state customer demand.

North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad asked the Industrial Commission to extend the application deadline until August 15th.

"The desire has not gone away," Kringstad told the Commission. "The need and the desire for a solution, not only for western North Dakota, but eastern North Dakota is as strong as ever."

Gov. Doug Burgum — a member of the Industrial Commission — agreed.

"Obviously, with our oil production, and an increase in the oil-gas production ratio, it still represents a potential cap on our oil production," Burgum said. "It's an issue for mineral owners in the stated, but also for the state of North Dakota, given our significant reliance on taxes from oil production, to fund virtually everything."

Another project -- to bring natural gas from the Viking pipeline in Minnesota to Grand Forks -- is going ahead. The project will cost $26 million, with $10 million coming from the state of North Dakota.

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